Home / Regular Issue / JST Vol. 29 (4) Oct. 2021 / JST-2774-2021


A Privacy Preserving Framework for Health Records using Blockchain

Chitra Karunakaran, Kavitha Ganesh, Sonya Ansar and Rohitha Subramani

Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology, Volume 29, Issue 4, October 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjst.29.4.45

Keywords: Blockchain, delegated proof of stake, electronic health records, healthcare, privacy, SHA256

Published on: 29 October 2021

Electronic Health Records (EHR) is the electronic form of storing a patient's medical history. EHR contains patient’s data such as progress notes, medications, prescriptions, vital signs, scan reports and laboratory data. Transferring EHR over the internet improves the quality of health care and reduces medical costs. However, in the traditional system, the EHR are stored across different decentralised hospitals, making data sharing difficult and increasing the risk of patient privacy. A privacy-preserving framework for electronic health records using blockchain technology is implemented to address these issues. The patient has complete control over the EHR, and the patient can share their health records with doctors of various medical institutions. The privacy and security of the patient’s EHR are guaranteed by the verifiability and immutability property of the blockchain technology. The doctor upload the EHR, and it is encrypted using the SHA256 hashing algorithm and stored as a separate block. The patient shares the EHR with the doctor of any medical institution through the unique key shared via the doctor’s email. The doctor can access and update the EHR using the shared key. The block validation is done using Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm, which guarantees the privacy of the patient’s data. The proposed system based on the DPoS algorithm has considerabe reduction in resource utilisation, computational capacity, time, and cost for EHR transactions.

  • Ahram, T., Sargolzaei, A., Sargolzaei, S., Daniels, J., & Amaba, B. (2017). Blockchain technology innovations. In 2017 IEEE technology & engineering management conference (TEMSCON) (pp. 137-141). IEEE Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1109/TEMSCON.2017.7998367.

  • Alhaqbani, B., & Fidge, C. (2008). Privacy-preserving electronic health record linkage using pseudonym identifiers. In HealthCom 2008-10th International Conference on e-health Networking, Applications and Services (pp. 108-117). IEEE Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1109/HEALTH.2008.4600120.

  • Borzi, E., & Salim, D. (2020). Energy consumption and security in blockchain (BSc Dissertation). KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden

  • Chen, Y., Ding, S., Xu, Z., Zheng, H., & Yang, S. (2019). Blockchain-based medical records secure storage and medical service framework. Journal of Medical systems, 43, 5-25. https://doi.org/10.1109/s10916-018-1121-4.

  • Christidis, K., & Devetsikiotis, M. (2016). Blockchain and smart contract for internet of things. IEEE Access, 4, 2292-2303. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2016.2566339.

  • Dagher, G. G., Mohler, J., Milojkovic, M., & Marella, P. B. (2018). Ancile: Privacy-preserving framework for access control and interoperability of electronic health records using blockchain technology. Sustainable Cities and Society, 39, 283-297. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2018.02.014.

  • Guo, R., Shi, H., Zhao, Q., & Zheng, D. (2018). Secure attribute-based signature scheme with multiple authorities for blockchain in electronic health records. IEEE Access, 6, 11676-11686. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2018.2801266.

  • Hossein, K. M., Esmaeili, M. E., Dargahi, T., & Khonsari, A. (2019). Blockchain-based privacy-preserving healthcare architecture. In 2019 IEEE Canadian Conference of Electrical and Computer Engineering (CCECE) (pp. 1-4). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/CCECE.2019.8861857.

  • Jabeen, F., Hamid, Z., Abdul, W., Ghouzali, S., Malik, S. U. R., Khan, A., Nawaz, S., & Ghafoor, H. (2017). Enhanced architecture for privacy preserving data integration in a medical research environment. IEEE Access, 5,13308-13326. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2017.2707584.

  • Jin, H., Lyo, Y., Li, P., & Mathew, J. (2019). A review of secure and privacy preserving medical data sharing. IEEE Access, 7, 61656-61669. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2916503.

  • Judith, A. G., Mitchel, L., Aleriot, N., & Armani, R. (2018). Electronic health records: An online medical records an asset or a liability under current condition? Australian Health Review, 42(1), 59-65. https://doi.org/10.1071/AH16095.

  • Kadam, S., Meshram, A., & Suryavanshi, S. (2019). Blockchain for healthcare: Privacy preserving medical record. International Journal of Computers and Applications, 178(36), 5-9.

  • Liu, J., Li, X., Ye, L., Zhang, H., & Guizani, M. (2018). BPDS-A blockchain based privacy preserving data sharing for electronic medical records. In 2018 IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM) (pp. 1-6). IEEE Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1109/GLOCOM.2018.8647713.

  • Shen, B., Guo, J., & Yang, V. (2019), Medchain: Efficient healthcare data sharing via blockchain. Applied Sciences, 9(6), Article 1207. https://doi.org/10.3390/app9061207.

  • Tasatanattakool, P., & Techapanupreeda, C. (2018). Blockchain: Challenges and applications. In 2018 International Conference on Information Networking (ICOIN) (pp. 473-475). IEEE Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICOIN.2018.8343163.

  • Vedi, A. D., Srivatsava,nG., Dhar, S., & Singh, R. (2019). A decentralised privacy preserving healthcare blockchain for IoT. Sensors, 19(2), 326-343. https://doi.org/10.3390/s19020326.

  • Wang, S., Wang, J., Wang, X., Qiu, T., Yuan, Y., Ouyang, L., Guo, Y., & Wang, F. (2018). Blockchain-powered parallel healthcare systems based on the ACP approach. IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems, 5(4), 942-950. https://doi.org/10.1109/TCSS.2018.2865526.

  • Xia, Q. I., Sifah, E. B., Assmoah, K. O., Guo, J., & Guizani, M. (2017). Medshare: Trustless medical data sharing among cloud service providers via blockchain. IEEE Access, 5,14757-14767. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2017.2730843.

  • Yang, F., Zhou, W., Wu, Q., Long, R., Xiong, N., & Zhou, M. (2018). Delegated proof of stake with downgrade: A secure and efficient blockchain consensus algorithm with downgrade mechanism. IEEE Access, 7, 118541-118555. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2935149

  • Zheng, Z., Xie, S., Dai, G., Chen, X., & Wang, H. (2017). An overview of blockchain technology: Architecture, consensus, and future trends. In 2017 IEEE international congress on big data (BigData congress) (pp. 557-564). IEEE Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1109/BigDataCongress.2017.85.

  • Zubaydi, H. D., Chong, Y. W., Ko, K., Hanshi, S. M., & Karuppayah, S. (2019). A review on the role of blockchain technology in healthcare domain. Electronic, 8(6), Article 679. https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8060679.

  • Zyskind, G., Nathan, O., & Pentland, A. (2015). Decentralizing privacy: Using blockchain to protect personal data. In 2015 IEEE Security and Privacy Workshops (pp. 180-184). IEEE Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1109/SPW.2015.27.

ISSN 0128-7680

e-ISSN 2231-8526

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Recent Articles