University of Surrey testing blockchain for wearable biometric data‎ storage and analysis

May 10, 2017 - 

The University of Surrey has won funding for three blockchain initiatives focused on healthcare, voting and digital archives that will store and analyze wearable biometric data, according to a report by V3.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is providing the university with a total of £1.1 million (US$1.4 million) for three bids that use distributed ledger technology (DLT), the technology behind blockchain that is used in Bitcoin currency.

The first project, ‘Co-operative Models for Evidence-based Healthcare Redistribution’ (CoMEHeRe) will start on June 26 for an 18-month run.

The project, which received £420,045 (US$543,328) in funding, aims to improve a person’s healthcare through a more targeted, personalized treatment approach by using and managing biometric information stemming from wearable devices.

The university said the project will combine data from an individual’s wearable device with DLT and machine learning to securely store and access data, which will then be shared with state and private healthcare providers.

The second project, ‘Trusted and Transparent Voting Systems’, will begin on June 1 and will last for two years.

The project, which received £240,653 (US$311,312) in funding, will explore the potential applications of blockchain in voting and collective decision-making.

The university will partner with King’s College London for this specific project, which will aims to establish more effective and trustworthy electronic voting in different organizations.

The third project is called ‘ARCHANGEL – Trusted Archives of Digital Public Records’, received £487,428 (US$630,488) in funding.

The project, which is already underway, enlists the help of the UK’s National Archives and Tim Berners-Lee’s Open Data Institute to develop new technology that will sustain digital archives on a long term basis.

“In addition, these projects will contribute to EPSRC’s delivery plan outcomes to support a more prosperous UK by working towards a more connected and healthy nation,” Atti Emecz, University of Surrey’s acting vice president of research and innovation, said. “The transformative uses of DLT offer huge potential and these awards allow us to work and develop on these.”

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.