CityLabs Collaborations: IoT and Blockchain trial to guarantee transparency and accountability in regulatory compliance

In November 2018, CityLabs and Akeman Solutions successfully began trialling IoT and Blockchain technologies to support the development of the Hygieneat smartphone app. The trial takes place in one of the restaurants located in the Open University (OU) campus in Milton Keynes. In particular, researchers in the Intelligent Systems and Data Science (ISDS) group at the Knowledge Media Institute (KMi) have been assisting Akeman Solutions in deploying the IoT infrastructure and integrating it with the Ethereum platform that is managed by the Open Blockchain unit of the University.

Hygieneat helps multi-site food businesses to monitor temperature in refrigeration units to improve health and safety and ensure compliance with the relevant norms. In particular, the KMi team provided temperature sensors and probes, carried out a machine learning analysis to ensure correct exception reporting, and made use of a blockchain architecture to guarantee transparency and accountability in regulatory compliance.

The KMi team also utilised the MK:Smart Data Hub to effectuate the IoT infrastructure of the trial and ensure that it could provide the middleware required for developing other applications. The Data Hub is accessible by means of a secure API, which ensures that only approved parties can make use of the live data streams provided by the sensor network. 

The ultimate aim is to develop a scalable solution, leading to the development of an integrated IoT and Blockchain platform which will allow councils and other regulatory authorities to remotely monitor restaurants, thus ensuring compliance with the relevant food safety standards. 

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