Visible to the public Blockchain: Solving the Privacy and Research Availability Tradeoff for EHR Data: A New Disruptive Technology in Health Data Management

TitleBlockchain: Solving the Privacy and Research Availability Tradeoff for EHR Data: A New Disruptive Technology in Health Data Management
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMagyar, G.
Conference Name2017 IEEE 30th Neumann Colloquium (NC)
ISBN Number978-1-5386-4636-6
KeywordsAmerican HIPAA regulation, blockchain, blockchain technology, Business, cryptographically secured data storage, cryptography, data availability, data privacy, data structures, defensive data hiding attitude, disruptive technology, ehr, EHR data, electronic health records, ethical problems, expert systems, health data management, Health data storage, Health information ecosystem, health system developers, human factors, law regulations, lifelong recorded patient health data, Medical services, multisignature data access, patient data, patient privacy, policy maker institutions, policy makers, population health management, privacy, privacy data, protective principles, pubcrawl, Scalability, secure data storing

A blockchain powered Health information ecosystem can solve a frequently discussed problem of the lifelong recorded patient health data, which seriously could hurdle the privacy of the patients and the growing data hunger of the research and policy maker institutions. On one side the general availability of the data is vital in emergency situations and supports heavily the different research, population health management and development activities, on the other side using the same data can lead to serious social and ethical problems caused by malicious actors. Currently, the regulation of the privacy data varies all over the world, however underlying principles are always defensive and protective towards patient privacy against general availability. The protective principles cause a defensive, data hiding attitude of the health system developers to avoid breaching the overall law regulations. It makes the policy makers and different - primarily drug - developers to find ways to treat data such a way that lead to ethical and political debates. In our paper we introduce how the blockchain technology can help solving the problem of secure data storing and ensuring data availability at the same time. We use the basic principles of the American HIPAA regulation, which defines the public availability criteria of health data, however the different local regulations may differ significantly. Blockchain's decentralized, intermediary-free, cryptographically secured attributes offer a new way of storing patient data securely and at the same time publicly available in a regulated way, where a well-designed distributed peer-to-peer network incentivize the smooth operation of a full-featured EHR system.

Citation Keymagyar_blockchain:_2017