Analysis and improvements of VerifyMed — the blockchain solution for virtualized healthcare trust relations

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Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Security and Cloud Computing (SECCLO)
Degree programme
Master’s Programme in Security and Cloud Computing (SECCLO)
The recent advancements in informational and communicational technologies have influenced the healthcare industry by making it progressively digitalized. Patients increasingly interact with the healthcare system through online services - either by searching for healthcare institutes and physicians, creating appointments, or even having online consultations and therapy sessions. However, patients are often unable to digitally verify the credibility and competence of medical professionals that they are virtually interacting with. VerifyMed is a proof of concept platform that aims to solve this problem by leveraging blockchain technology to facilitate trust relations in-between patients, physicians and healthcare institutes. In this thesis, we analyze the old version of the VerifyMed solution (VerifyMed 1.0) for potential enhancements, design the improvements, implement them and evaluate the new version. Therefore, we focus our work on the four main areas of improvement. First, we fix the problem of scalability and high transaction fees by shifting the solution from the public Ethereum blockchain to the permissioned Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. Second, we pave the ground for GDPR compliance by storing only the hash values on the blockchain. Third, we solve the problem of patient authentication by utilizing cryptographic techniques. Finally, we drastically improve the usability of the final solution by implementing the new user interface and creating a live deployment. Our results show that the VerifyMed platform can successfully model trust relations in the healthcare industry. It provides proof of certification and experience for physicians and serves as a platform for feedback by storing treatment outcome metrics reported by the patients. Furthermore, the new version of the system yields no inherent cost for its users and requires no energy-consuming work, such as cryptocurrency mining. However, the new version of VerifyMed (VerifyMed 2.0) still represents only the basis of the highly complex system. Therefore, it still provides a vast space for potential improvements.
Gligoroski, Danilo
Thesis advisor
Hasselgren, Anton
Kralevska, Katina
blockchain, healthcare, trust, hyperledger fabric
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