Tokyo, October 22, 2020  NEC Corporation (NEC), National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and ZenmuTech, Inc have succeeded in demonstrating a system that uses quantum cryptography to encrypt and securely transmit dummy electronic medical records compatible with SS-MIX standardized storage and to back the data up with a secret sharing technology over a wide area network. In addition, the cross-referencing of dummy data between this system and Kochi Health Sciences Center has also been demonstrated.

This demonstration experiment was conducted as a part of the Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program led by the Cabinet Office, "Photonics and Quantum Technology for Society 5.0,” managed by Japan’s National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, and in cooperation with a Tokyo-based medical institution that uses NEC’s medical record system.
In recent years, natural disasters have been causing increasingly severe damage, yet it is essential for medical institutions to maintain their medical services at the time of a disaster. Therefore, it is necessary to store patients’ electronic medical records at remote locations where they can be retrieved at any time, even in case of emergency. In addition, electronic medical records, medical images, and other medical information are increasingly being shared among medical institutions in order to provide higher-quality medical services and to improve operational efficiency of healthcare professionals. However, since the data contained in medical information is extremely sensitive personal data, a reliable system for securely sharing data between medical institutions is required.
To solve this issue, NEC, NICT, and ZenmuTech, Inc have developed a system that uses technologies for quantum cryptography to encrypt approximately 10,000 dummy data and securely transmit the data and back it up using secret sharing over a wide area network. In this demonstration, quantum cryptography was used to encrypt the transmission of dummy data provided by a Tokyo-based medical institution using quantum key distribution (QKD) . QKD allows the sharing of encryption keys between two remote locations and is, in principle, secure against any third party (eavesdropper), even if they have exceptional computing ability. In addition, the demonstration verified the distributed control and recovery of data using secret sharing technology.
Specifically, this system was built on the Tokyo QKD Network, a QKD network that NICT has been operating since 2010, and enables secure storage and cross-referencing of data for regional medical collaborations using dummy data provided by a Tokyo-based medical institution. By encrypting the transmission of dummy data with quantum keys supplied in real-time, the data is securely transmitted and backed up using the secret sharing, and multiple medical institutions can cross-reference the data in real-time. 
Figure 1
Figure 1: Mechanism for cross-referencing secure electronic medical records using quantum cryptography
The secure communication network used in this demonstration utilizes NEC's network encryptor and combines the cryptographic keys supplied in real-time from the Tokyo QKD Network's QKD equipment with the modern cryptographic Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to increase the security. This makes it more difficult for an eavesdropper with quantum computers to decipher, and supports highly confidential communication.

Figure 2
Figure 2: System configuration diagram for this demonstration
In the future, based on the results of this demonstration, NEC, NICT, and ZenmuTech, Inc will work on the application of quantum cryptography for the medical field, including remote healthcare procedures, by combining advanced technologies such as high-definition video and 5G.
This demonstration is supported by a Tokyo-based medical institution and Kochi Health Sciences Center, including the provision of dummy electronic medical records.
Secret sharing technology:
A technique in which original data is cryptographically converted into multiple pieces of data (shares) and distributed to different data servers, and is only reconstructed from sufficient number of pieces of data (shares).
Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program:
A program that promotes science and technology innovation by enabling the Council for Science and Technology Innovation to play a leading role in management that goes beyond the boundaries of government ministries and traditional fields.
Quantum key distribution (QKD):
In quantum key distribution, the sender modulates (adds information) the photon and transmits it. The receiver detects the state of one photon arriving, eliminates potentially eavesdropping bits (so-called key distillation), and shares an absolute secure secret key (a sequence of random numbers for encryption) between the senders and receivers.


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About National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT)

As Japan’s sole National Research and Development Agency specializing in the field of information and communications technology, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) is charged with promoting the ICT sector as well as research and development in ICT, which drives economic growth and creates an affluent, safe and secure society. For more information please see:

About ZenmuTech, Inc

ZenmuTech, Inc is a start-up company that has strength in secret sharing technology such as AONT (All-Or-Nothing-Transform). ZenmuTech tries our best to make every solution in the world more secure and more convenient. For more information, visit ZenmuTech at

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Quantum ICT Advanced Development Center
Advanced ICT Research Institute


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