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IOTA's Project Selv Aims to Fix Privacy Issues With Digital Healthcare Data

Developed in collaboration with Dentons, one of the world’s largest law firms; Selv is a GDPR-compliant healthcare data management application that allows users to have complete control over their health data and privacy and an easy means of sharing personal details with those authorized to see it

Welcome to Selv

(BERLIN, GERMANY -- July 2020) Digital records were supposed to be the answer. They were supposed to lead to better, faster, and safer health care. The US alone has spent over 10 years and more than $36 billion dollars trying to fix the kinks in storing and sharing digital healthcare data. Yet the world is still not at a better place than where we started.

For doctors, sharing patient records between care providers — even those currently treating the patient — is a cumbersome task full of bureaucratic processes. For patients, the system is equally problematic; there exists no centralized point to view or share their personal health care data. Instead, data resides on servers owned and maintained by different doctors, medical facilities, pharmacies, and insurance companies. Pulling it all together in an attempt to see the bigger health care picture has become nearly impossible.

The IOTA Foundation, a non-profit focused on distributed ledger technology and open-source development, today announced it is working on a solution called Selv, a digital healthcare passport meant to give users control over their personal health care data. Developed with the oversight of one of the world’s largest law firms, Dentons, Selv allows users to log and share their personal health care information through mobile applications built for both iOS or Android.

Selv, a digital passport proof of concept built on IOTA’s distributed ledger technology, the Tangle, would democratize the process, giving any patient the ability to store and share their own health care information in a secure, convenient, and privacy preserving mobile application. Selv gives patients the power to control their own data, on their own device, rather than jumping through bureaucratic hoops to obtain and share it with others, such as physicians, pharmacists, or insurance agents.

Patient health care records include anything from medical history, immunization records, to allergies, prescription drug interactions, and even COVID-19 test results. All these records obviously contain very private data. Selv is GDPR compliant (verified by Dentons) and built using IOTA’s distributed ledger technology, the Tangle.

IOTA’s Tangle stores an encrypted, immutable, and permanent record of these health care events on the user’s device rather than in the cloud, giving them a top-down view of their own health care data. Users can also share this data with others they authorize to see it, who can instantly verify the integrity.

Born during the Global Legal Hackathon, Selv was built with privacy and compliance in mind. From the onset, the IOTA Foundation decided to make the app free and it will soon be open source — there is no fee to download, nor any on-going fees to use it.

Selv is a scalable and interoperable solution that follows W3C specifications on identity, and will be fully audited by external security consultants. You can try the Selv demo here.

Patient health care records could include anything, such as immunization records, allergies, prior surgeries, chronic conditions, prescription drug interactions, or even COVID-19 test results. Selv is GDPR compliant (verified by Dentons) and built using IOTA’s distributed ledger technology, the Tangle.

“Selv puts patient data in the hands of those who rightfully own it, granting options to view, share, and store it in an efficient and straightforward manner,” said IOTA co-founder David Sønstebø. “It’s 2020; users shouldn’t need to jump through hoops to access their own data, and or to store it securely.” 

“Government solutions to locking down patient care data have, so far, been costly and ineffective,” said IOTA co-founder Dominik Schiener. “Selv offers an app-based answer to a problem faced by billions around the world. It’s a secure and efficient solution that puts data where it belongs: In the hands of its owners.”

“Close collaboration between designers and lawyers at the design stage can help ensure that new technologies are developed in compliance with legal standards, and requirements” said Amy Kläsener, a partner and leader of the dispute resolution team for Dentons.


  • Smartphone apps available for both iOS and Android

  • Stores data securely, in an encrypted digital ledger housed on the device and not in the cloud

  • GDPR compliant

  • Free and open source

  • Options to securely share data with authorized individuals and healthcare providers

  • Easy access to immunizations, prescriptions, care instructions, or even COVID-19 and other test results


About IOTA Foundation

IOTA is a global not-for-profit foundation incorporated and headquartered in Germany. The IOTA Foundation's mission is to support the research and development of new distributed ledger technologies (DLT), including the IOTA Tangle. The Foundation encourages the education and adoption of DLTs through the creation of ecosystems and the standardization of these new protocols.

The IOTA Tangle moves beyond blockchain by providing the world's first scalable, feeless and fully-decentralized distributed ledger technology. The Tangle uses its own unique technology to solve three fundamental problems with blockchain technology: high fees, scaling and centralization. It is an open-source protocol connecting the human economy with the machine economy by facilitating novel Machine-to-Machine (M2M) interactions, including secure data transfer, fee-less micropayments, and secure access control for devices.

To learn more visit, the IOTA Foundation YouTube channel and follow @iota on Twitter.

Media contact
Lauren Perry[email protected]
+1 (617) 686-5924
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