Toward secure, privacy-preserving, and interoperable medical data sharing via blockchain

Hao Jin, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Chen Xu, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Yan Luo, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Peilong Li, Elizabethtown College
Yu Cao, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Jomol Mathew, University of Massachusetts Medical School


In the era of cloud computing and big data analysis, how to efficiently share and utilize medical information scattered across various care providers has become a critical problem. This paper proposes a new framework for sharing medical data in a secure and privacy-preserving way. This framework holistically integrates multi-Authority attribute based encryption, blockchain and smart contract, as well as software defined networking to define and enforce sharing policies. Specifically in our framework, patients' medical records are encrypted and stored in hospital databases, where strict access controls are enforced with attribute based encryption coupled with privacy level classification. Our framework leverages blockchain technology to connect scattered private databases from participating hospitals for efficient and secure data provision, smart contracts to enable the business logic of clinical data usage, and software defined networking to revoke sharing privileges. The performance evaluation of our prototype demonstrates that the associated computation costs are reasonable in practice.