Building a “Healthy” Blockchain in Malta: Feature Interview With Denise De Gaetano, Data Science Expert


Malta is a tiny, island country located in the Mediterranean Sea just south of the island of Sicily, Italy. An archipelago, with only three inhabited islands, it’s a nation revered for its historical sites tied to Roman, Moorish, Knights of Saint John, French, and British rulers.

It is also known for its ancient fortresses, megalithic temples, and subterranean complex of halls and burial chambers, the latter dating back to circa 4000 B.C.

Today Malta is a popular tourist destination replete with a warm climate, bustling recreation, and scores of architectural and historical monuments.

The country is also known for its healthcare. The World Health Organization ranked it 5th among over 100 countries for overall healthcare quality. All Maltese citizens and EU residents with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are provided with free service.

Malta is also poised to launch the world’s first government agency powered by blockchain with its Registry of Companies operating via a blockchain system. The country, through a partnership with Learning Machine, an edu-tech startup also has the distinction of being the first globally to store education certificates on the blockchain.

The country along with Switzerland is also building an infrastructure for tokenized assets. The US SEC and EU’s ESMA have all been active participants in the regulatory planning process governing this initiative.

Feature Interview With Denise De Gaetano, Data Science Expert

Denise De Gaetano is a Data Science, Business consultant, and Entrepreneur with over 12 years of experience working within numerous industries. She is currently the founder of a number of start-ups, running on blockchain platforms, with a strong influence of A.I. algorithms and she is also on the Malta government task for A.I. She also works as a consultant and AI and blockchain auditor in a number of industries.

De Gaetano had this to share when asked to describe Malta in terms of its Blockchain community and some of the advancements taking place there in this space:

“Malta is slowly but surely gaining traction in the Blockchain world. At the beginning of 2018, a consultation document was published entitled  The Establishment of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority; the Framework for the Certification of Distributed Ledger Technology Platforms and Related Service Providers; and a Virtual Currency Act”.

De Gaetano notes that his document outlines three separate but linked bills:  The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act (MDIA), Innovation Technology Arrangements and Services Act (ITAS), and the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA). These bills, she says, outline the plan to create the supervisory authority, as well as the world’s first comprehensive legal framework to govern crypto, blockchain, and ICOs. With this the Blockchain Island environment was created.

With respect to healthcare, De Gaetano is currently actively working on an e-health startup:

“Our start-up will be offering a solution, where hospitals, public health officials and the pharmaceutical industry can submit questions related to say the epidemic model for HIV transmission. The platform will then seek the best possible answer, linking the requester to the most relevant academic information.”

Continues De Gaetano: “The solution is designed to source the most relevant data sets.  Should this not be available a request will be sent out automatically to the database of hospitals, clinics, and universities, who are connected to disease intelligence. To this end, our solution will bring about benefits, namely increased research collaboration thus eliminating the current SILO models.  It will ultimately deliver us, potential patients, better solutions to our healthcare.”

Offering her thoughts on what sorts of emerging trends she sees on the horizon over the next 12-18 months in terms of the intersection between blockchain, AI, and the health industry, De Gaetano concludes:
“With my e-health start-up and our efforts to assist health care organizations in utilizing emerging technologies, I strongly believe that the combination of AI and blockchain creates exceptional and exponential strength towards the benefit of the patients, facilitating the lives of anyone working within this industry. That being said, we are still at a stage where there is no clear definition regarding the overlap of the technical and ethical implications of patient records.  This is an area, which I believe will be the focus of the industry within the next couple of years.”