Blockchain as a Foundation for Sharing Healthcare Data
Blockchain technology has the potential to transform healthcare delivery by facilitating data sharing between providers and electronic health record (EHR) systems. However, significant roadblocks stand in the way of widespread implementation of this technology across the healthcare industry. Our blockchainbased data-sharing solution addresses two of the most critical challenges associated with using blockchain for health data sharing: protecting sensitive health information and deploying and installing blockchain software across diverse hospital environments. Since transparency is a fundamental feature of blockchain, we enabled user- and group-based secret sharing by adding purpose-built software that leverages a collection of well-established cryptographic algorithms. To streamline deployment, we built a containerized solution that guarantees portability, simplifies installation, and reduces overhead maintenance costs associated with administration. To ensure ease of implementation in a hospital system, we designed our blockchain solution using a distributed microservices architecture that allows us to encapsulate core functions of our system into isolated services that can be scaled independently based on the requirements of a particular hospital system deployment. As part of this architecture, we built core components for securely handling cryptographic secrets, interacting with blockchain nodes, facilitating large file sharing, enabling secondary-index based lookups, and integrating external business logic that governs how users interact with Smart Contracts. The innovative design of our blockchain solution, which addresses critical data security, deployment, and installation challenges, provides the healthcare community with a unique approach that has the power to connect providers while protecting sensitive data.
Keywords: Blockchain, Data Sharing, Data Exchange, EHR,electronic health record, Ethereum, interplanetary file system, IPFS
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