UAE Health Ministry Debuts Blockchain Platform for Medical Data

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) together with the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Dubai Healthcare City and other relevant authorities has launched a blockchain-based health data storage platform.

According to The Emirates News Agency on Feb. 2, the blockchain-based platform aims to improve the efficiency of MoHAP and other health authorities’ smart health services. It will help users streamline the search for health facilities and its licensed medical and technical personnel, as well as inquire about medicine supply chains.

According to Dr. Lubna Al Shaali, the Director of the Public Health Policy Department, the new data storage blockchain platform will help secure an unchangeable, decentralized and encrypted database with high-security protection to verify data validity and reliability.

Per the Ministry’s plans for introducing artificial intelligence (AI) into health services, the platform will also contain AI functionalities.  “The AI-based projects will play a key role in enhancing the capabilities of health care services and providing smart medical solutions, in accordance with the UAE Centennial 2071, and its artificial intelligence strategy,” said Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s Public Health Policy and Licenses.

The UAE has been taking the initiative in blockchain technology

Cointelegraph reported earlier this month that 80% of government entities in the UAE’s have started using blockchain.  In the past several months, the Department of Economic Development in Dubai has announced its move to a blockchain-based unified business registry platform to improve the ease of doing business in Dubai and enable license issuers to manage trade licenses and corporate registries. 

Being decentralized, secure, transparent, and efficient in managing data, the healthcare sector can benefit tremendously from blockchain technology. Yet, there are several challenges ahead too, such as how it can adapt to real-world applications when it comes to regulation, privacy, business and provider and patient relationships which are unique to healthcare.