This article is a translation of the German IOTA Beginner’s Guide by Schmucklos.


Use Cases

Pact: Secure exchange of patient data – Homepage

SmartOptz: Remote Patient Monitoring – Homepage

Ubirch: Manage passengers’ health stats at Frankfurt Airport’s coronavirus testing center – Medium


eHealth is currently the buzzword for health services and information that can be delivered or enhanced via the Internet and related technologies. In a broader sense, the term refers not only to a technical development, but also, mindset, attitude and commitment to networked, global thinking to improve healthcare locally, regionally and globally. This will be done in the future through the use of new information and communication technologies such as DLT.

In the future, patient data will be stored digitally, online doctors will hold their consultations in virtual consulting rooms and many devices, sensors or apps will monitor and record our vital data in real time. The merging of electronic processes with mobile and embedded devices can improve access, efficiency, and quality of personalized healthcare or care. While the implementation of these cyberphysical systems can greatly benefit society as a whole, the security and privacy of each patient must be ensured, and sensitive data must only be made available in encrypted form to the physician currently treating them.

The IF sees a great application area for its technology here, and the advantage of a decentralized encrypted platform for this sensitive data is clear. The patient would gain control over their own data and could determine which doctor gets access and what should be done with the data.

Data is a fundamental building block of healthcare. The digitization of health records has led to great successes in terms of information sharing, care coordination and research. The volume of health data is growing exponentially, with more and more sources providing data, both inside and outside of healthcare facilities. Securing this data is a growing concern; IOTA aims to build trust in this data.

As we have transitioned to a digital health system, we have sacrificed the relative security of individual paper records for the convenience of freely replicable and modifiable digital records. The IF believes that the next evolution of the digital health record should restore the integrity of the data, with an immutable record that cannot be maliciously altered. This data will influence doctors’ management decisions and form the basis for trustworthy decision support systems.

IOTA aims to enable greater data integrity within the healthcare industry. By securely transferring and storing individual medical records in the IOTA ledger, access to private medical records can be reliable, secure, and controlled. Since the IOTA protocol is free of transaction fees, this data integrity is free. The collection of micro or nano transaction fees for trusted and immutable information in the medical context also becomes possible.

Multiple stored data can negatively impact clinical care

Healthcare data has traditionally been stored multiple times in different institutions or even within a single institution. These multiple storages prevent the meaningful exchange and reuse of data and limit the quality of care that can be delivered. To receive medical treatment, an individual may need to consult multiple providers for a single incident. As individuals move from primary care to specialists to hospitals and back, data is not shared seamlessly, affecting their seamless continuity of care.

Citizens first

IOTA will enable the transition from an institution-centered model to a citizen-centered model of health care.

The IOTA protocol supports data sharing initiatives using innovative secure open-source messaging protocols and common healthcare interoperability standards. IOTA developers are working toward a longer-term vision – of decentralized and secure data stores that are controlled by the patient and accompanied along the way. Rather than private data access being controlled by institutions, individuals can be given much more control over which of their discrete medical records can be shared.

The IF is a non-profit organization created to drive the development and adoption of the IOTA platform. All tools are provided free of charge and are open source.

Examples of projects being developed using these tools

Remote Patient Monitoring

Health sensors are becoming more common, both consumer-grade and medical-grade. Data from these sensors can provide better insight into a patient’s health status. This is particularly useful for chronic conditions where deterioration can be detected earlier, or for medical trials where response can be monitored more closely. However, securing and trading these data streams will remain problematic.

IOTA Streams can help secure these data streams across the Tangle using modern healthcare interoperability standards. The IOTA ledger can also be used as a record of device security to prove that they have been updated to the latest, most secure internal software (firmware).

Health Data Exchange

The IOTA Streams protocol can be used to transfer patient data between hospitals. IOTA Streams enables encrypted data streams that can contain either individual data about a patient or their entire medical record. The built-in payment system also allows these data streams to be charged directly, making it easy for institutions to cover the cost of data transfer.

Research data integrity

Clinical research relies on the integrity of data collection. The IOTA ledger can act as an immutable ledger to prove the integrity of research data. The scalability and structure of IOTA allows very detailed, continuous real-world data to be collected as it is produced, rather than on episodic case report forms. We expect this to become a new approach to collecting real-world evidence in studies.

Original source

Last Updated on 16. February 2021