UAE Health Ministry Moves Health Information Storage to Blockchain Author: Jimmy Aki Last Updated: 03 February 2020 Blockchain is steadily continuing its penetration of several essential industries across the world. With cryptocurrencies becoming more of an attractive investment and remittance option, the parent technology is making a splash in the health sector as well. On February 2, the Emirates News Agency reported that the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) of the United Arab Emirates, as well as the Dubai Healthcare City, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, and other government agencies, has launched a health data storage platform based on blockchain tech. Optimizing Healthcare Services Through Blockchain and AI As the news medium explained, the blockchain platform will be tasked with optimizing the MoHAP’s operation, while also helping to improve the smart healthcare activities of other collaborating agencies. With it, users will be able to seamlessly search for healthcare facilities around them (including information about their technical and medical personnel), while also getting quality information about supply chain processes as well. Dr. Lubna Al Shaali, the Director of the Public Health Policy Department, explained that the platform would also help to secure information in an immutable and decentralized database that provides high-security encryption and data verification systems. All of these will ensure that information is reliable and accurate, and that users can get a hold of what they need as at when needed. The news source also touched on the MoHAP’s plans for integrating artificial intelligence into its healthcare services, adding that the new blockchain platform will have some AI functionalities as well. Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, the Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s Public Health Policy and Licenses, said, “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.” Blockchain as a Means of Saving Money The government of the UAE has been rather sporadic in its efforts to embrace blockchain, responding to a research paper published early last month that claimed they could save as much as $3 billion annually by deploying the technology. Blockchain could help UAE save over $3b a year https://t.co/xiXLRuUl0k — Gulf News (@gulf_news) January 15, 2020 The research was a collaborative effort between the World Economic Forum, the Dubai Future Foundation, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution UAE- a coalition that has focused on industrial transformation through science and technology. It explained that, among other things, the government could erase the need for 398 million printed documents and cut up to 77 million hours of work done every year through blockchain. Benefits such as these could see them save a significant sum, with the technology making up for the cuts implemented. Apart from integrating blockchain into its healthcare system, the UAE government has also set out to bring it into the region’s business life as well. Late last month, the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC) confirmed in a press release that it would be launching the “Crypto Valley,” an area that will provide co-working spaces, as well as mentoring and educational programs for business people looking to enter the crypto space. The valley is expected to be set up in one of Dubai’s free zones, selected areas across the region where businesses can set up without having to pay any business, corporate, or withholding taxes.