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Is Blockchain Technology Suitable for Managing Personal Health Records? Mixed-Methods Study to Test Feasibility

Authors
 Yu Rang Park  ;  Eunsol Lee  ;  Wonjun Na  ;  Sungjun Park  ;  Yura Lee  ;  Jae-Ho Lee 
Citation
 JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH, Vol.21(2) : e12533, 2019 
Journal Title
JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH
ISSN
 1439-4456 
Issue Date
2019
Abstract
BACKGROUND: There are many perspectives on the advantages of introducing blockchain in the medical field, but there are no published feasibility studies regarding the storage, propagation, and management of personal health records (PHRs) using blockchain technology.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the usefulness of blockchains in the medical field in relation to transactions with and propagation of PHRs in a private blockchain.

METHODS: We constructed a private blockchain network using Ethereum version 1.8.4 and conducted verification using the de-identified PHRs of 300 patients. The private blockchain network consisted of one hospital node and 300 patient nodes. In order to verify the effectiveness of blockchain-based PHR management, PHRs at a time were loaded in a transaction between the hospital and patient nodes and propagated to the whole network. We obtained and analyzed the time and gas required for data transaction and propagation on the blockchain network. For reproducibility, these processes were repeated 100 times.

RESULTS: Of 300 patient records, 74 (24.7%) were not loaded in the private blockchain due to the data block size of the transaction block. The remaining 226 individual health records were classified into groups A (80 patients with outpatient visit data less than 1 year old), B (84 patients with outpatient data from between 1 and 3 years before data collection), and C (62 patients with outpatient data 3 to 5 years old). With respect to mean transaction time in the blockchain, C (128.7 seconds) had the shortest time, followed by A (132.2 seconds) and then B (159.0 seconds). The mean propagation times for groups A, B, and C were 1494.2 seconds, 2138.9 seconds, and 4111.4 seconds, respectively; mean file sizes were 5.6 KB, 18.6 KB, and 45.38 KB, respectively. The mean gas consumption values were 1,900,767; 4,224,341; and 4,112,784 for groups A, B, and C, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms that it is possible to exchange PHR data in a private blockchain network. However, to develop a blockchain-based PHR platform that can be used in practice, many improvements are required, including reductions in data size, improved personal information protection, and reduced operating costs.
Full Text
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6384539/?report=printable
DOI
10.2196/12533
Appears in Collections:
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Biomedical Systems Informatics (의생명시스템정보학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Park, Yu Rang(박유랑) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4210-2094
URI
https://ir.ymlib.yonsei.ac.kr/handle/22282913/169495
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