Abstract: There is a growing flood of data being collected through mobile health (mHealth) devices, Internet of Things (IoT) platforms and direct-to-consumer genomics, all of which provide novel opportunities to improve health and revolutionize healthcare. These technologies, however, create new security and privacy issues for provisioning patient-collected data. In particular, ensuring the control, provenance, and traceability of data is critical for enabling trust and reliability in information managed across multiple parties. In this tutorial, we will present blockchain, an encrypted distributed ledger, as a secure, reliable, robust, and decentralized framework for data sharing, and show why it is being rapidly adopted across industries. The presentation will be based on our experience in developing blockchain solutions to support security and privacy in health data sharing. In the first half, we will introduce blockchain technology and discuss existing healthcare-specific solutions, such as MedRec, Healthbank, and GuardTime. In the second half, we will focus on the Linux Foundation open-source blockchain, Hyperledger, and illustrate how the Hyperledger Fabric provides a solution for common mHealth and health IoT applications. We will give a demonstration on how to set up a blockchain network for dynamic consent management, and we will simulate data sharing transactions. We will conclude by discussing open research issues in adopting blockchain as foundational data infrastructure in biomedical and healthcare settings.

Learning Objective 1: Obtain an overview of blockchain technology

Learning Objective 2 (Optional): Understand the use of blockchain in healthcare and other industries

Learning Objective 3 (Optional): Assess how blockchain can apply to various applications in clinical care, mobile health, and healt Internet of Things

Learning Objective 4 (Optional): Gain knowledge of implementing the Hyperledger Fabric model for an application focusing on patient-centered data sharing


Olivia Choudhury (Presenter)
IBM Research

Amar Das (Presenter)
IBM Research

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