Metrarc Founding Partner in SHiELD

Cambridge-based Metrarc announced today that it is a key partner in the European Funded Horizon 2020 Project SHiELD (European Security in Health Data Exchange). This program aims to facilitate the secure exchange of health data across borders. The pan-European programme will benefit both patients and clinicians by ensuring the development of a platform to secure the processing and exchange of an individual’s health data whilst they travel across country borders.

The broad aim of the programme is to unlock the value of health data to EU citizens and businesses by overcoming security and regulatory challenges that currently inhibit the exchange of data to those who need it. This will facilitate improved health care provision to citizens across EU borders and enable legitimate commercial uses of health data. This will create scenarios where a citizen requiring health care in a different member state can have their data accessed from their own member state. In addition, the SHiELD programme will consider how commercial providers of lifestyle services or wearable sensors may also be involved in such appropriate data exchanges. This will create opportunities for using health data to create products that will enrich provision for EU citizens.

The programme comprises eleven partners from across the EU; Tecnalia (Spain), Metrarc (UK), IBM (Israel), Fondazione Centro San Raffaele/Ospedale San Raffaele (Italy), Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (UK), Aimes Grid Services (UK), Stelar Security Technology Law Research (Germany), Symphonic Software Ltd (UK), Ibermatica SA (Spain), University of Southampton IT Innovation Centre (UK) and Servicio Vasco de Salud Osakidetza (Spain). This consortium brings together the health authorities in the Lancashire region, the Basque Country and Milan to demonstrate how legal, legislative and best practices can be observed to ensure that data is properly secured. Working with innovative technology developers such as Metrarc will enable SHiELD to provide next generation capability creating eHealth services aligned with the needs of the health care providers within a framework of European Compliance.

As a key partner in SHiELD Metrarc will develop identity assurance and trusted access to eHealth-based web services, by applying the developed technology to create an eHealth demonstrator which can be showcased to clients. The novel mobile device security mechanisms developed by Metrarc will provide secure storage of health data on devices as well as secure communication with data exchange services whilst also addressing potential risks from device theft, malware infection, or lax security practices by professional users and patients. Metrarc’s CTO Gareth Howells commented ‘We intend to build a system which will be highly flexible using our patented ICMetric approach of analysing measureable characteristics or features of the device including user interactions. Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier, Metrarc’s CEO, further added ‘The ICMetric-based platform will enhance the trust and provenance associated with the device and possess significant capabilities for the detection of any malware operating on the device, unlike incumbent antivirus solutions, this will also detect previously unknown malware based on the behavioural characteristics of the device, rather than know malware execution patterns. The increase of cyberattacks particularly targeted to health services, such as in the recent WannaCry ransomware attack, has significantly affected the UK’s NHS and demonstrates the urgent need for improved and hardened cybersecurity that our technology can provide.’

Metrarc’s initial target will be to create a data exchange app for healthcare professionals, allowing them to exchange data with appropriate compliant data exchange services and providing them with a way to securely communicate health data. The goal will be to make the security mechanism as transparent as possible to the user, to reduce the risk that misunderstandings or failure to configure

the system undermine the security provided. Metrarc’s Founder Karl Heeks commented ‘We are really pleased to be involved in this important programme and believe that the secure handling of healthcare data across the EU is of great importance. This programme brings together the right combination of healthcare services, legal bodies and technology developers to enable a superior, more integrated platform across Europe.’ For more information please visit and Please follow @SHIELD2020 or contact SHiELD Project Manager Xabier Larrucea of Tecnalia

© 2017 – SHiELD – This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727301