Primary care IT system provider EMIS has announced a £2.5 million acquisition of a UK business specialising in the use of blockchain in healthcare.

Dovetail Lab creates software designed to give patients full control of their healthcare records, delivering secure exchange of data between different health services and new digital technologies involved in patient care.

In March 2018, Dovetail announced it was partnering up with Patients Know Best to offer shared virtual medical records to people with diabetes.

EMIS Group is acquiring an initial 90% shareholding in the company, with existing Dovetail Lab shareholders having the remaining 10%.

Andy Thorburn, CEO of EMIS Group, said: “Dovetail Lab is widely regarded as one of the leading healthcare blockchain businesses in the UK, that is driving innovation across the sector.

“The business has already launched a successful pilot of its software within the NHS, giving patients access, visibility and control over their health data using explicit and informed consent to drive data sharing across all health and care settings.

“The potential applications for blockchain technology in the UK healthcare sector are significant and we look forward to working with the new team to explore these.”

EMIS has also announced it has acquired the outstanding 21.1% minority stake in its subsidiary Rx, which trades as EMIS Health Community Pharmacy, giving the group 100% control of the business.

EMIS Health Community Pharmacy provides clinical software for pharmacists.

Thorburn said: “Rx has been an important contributor to EMIS Group since 2010 and Phoenix a valued partner, co-investor and customer throughout that period. We are pleased to have come to this agreement and to consolidate full control of Rx.”