Estonian Biobank and Guardtime have announced a partnership to deploy Guardtime Helium, the world’s first, comprehensive, blockchain-backed data access and governance product for medical data. Guardtime’s Helium delivers KSI® blockchain-assured verification for the integrity and provenance of all sensitive Biobank data assets as well as independent oversight for how these assets are being governed and utilized.

The service delivers proof of data provenance and integrity, immutably bound to data-usage agreements, a precondition for unlocking sensitive genomic and health data for academic and commercial research and development. This has the potential to offer new, innovative treatments for patients as well as exciting opportunities for knowledge-based businesses.

Ain Aaviksoo, Guardtime’s Chief Medical Officer said:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Estonia Biobank to solve what is the foundational problem for all medical research – how to make medical data available, both securely and in compliance with pre-defined data usage agreements. Biobanks, as custodians of genomic data, can assure citizens their data can be used only in accordance with the latest consent and privacy regulations and their partners are subject to independent oversight, guaranteeing all participants have immutable proof of how, when and by whom their data was used and for what purpose.”

Tõnu Esko, Vice-Director of Estonian Genome Center said:

“As a world leading biobank, we are excited to be partnering with Guardtime, a world leader in blockchain solutions. Guardtime’s technology clears a critical impediment that has been preventing us from participating in international genomic research – how to provide independent oversight of the compliance of data usage agreements, providing assurance to citizens, partners and regulators that we are trustworthy custodians of data. This is an essential requirement for advancing global scientific cooperation and improving medicine and health outcomes for all.”

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports 242 separate cases of health data misuse in 2019, affecting in excess of 10 million citizens. If Biobank data is to be unlocked and the industry is to realize ‘data as the new medicine’, it’s essential to protect those patients who’ve donated their sensitive health or genomic data against misuse.

Guardtime‘s Helium helps Biobanks assure citizens that any use of their data is fully compliant with consent and privacy regulations (GDPR) and that data custodians are bound to strict usage guidelines with an immutable  KSI® blockchain-backed audit trail of any processing activity. This ensures all activity is automatically monitored every second with independent, transparent reporting following pre-defined usage rules and strict GDPR requirements governing data privacy and consent.