DOI: 10.3390/s23156762 ISSN: 1424-8220

HealthLock: Blockchain-Based Privacy Preservation Using Homomorphic Encryption in Internet of Things Healthcare Applications

Aitizaz Ali, Bander Ali Saleh Al-rimy, Faisal S. Alsubaei, Abdulwahab Ali Almazroi, Abdulaleem Ali Almazroi
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Analytical Chemistry

The swift advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT), coupled with the growing application of healthcare software in this area, has given rise to significant worries about the protection and confidentiality of critical health data. To address these challenges, blockchain technology has emerged as a promising solution, providing decentralized and immutable data storage and transparent transaction records. However, traditional blockchain systems still face limitations in terms of preserving data privacy. This paper proposes a novel approach to enhancing privacy preservation in IoT-based healthcare applications using homomorphic encryption techniques combined with blockchain technology. Homomorphic encryption facilitates the performance of calculations on encrypted data without requiring decryption, thus safeguarding the data’s privacy throughout the computational process. The encrypted data can be processed and analyzed by authorized parties without revealing the actual contents, thereby protecting patient privacy. Furthermore, our approach incorporates smart contracts within the blockchain network to enforce access control and to define data-sharing policies. These smart contracts provide fine-grained permission settings, which ensure that only authorized entities can access and utilize the encrypted data. These settings protect the data from being viewed by unauthorized parties. In addition, our system generates an audit record of all data transactions, which improves both accountability and transparency. We have provided a comparative evaluation with the standard models, taking into account factors such as communication expense, transaction volume, and security. The findings of our experiments suggest that our strategy protects the confidentiality of the data while at the same time enabling effective data processing and analysis. In conclusion, the combination of homomorphic encryption and blockchain technology presents a solution that is both resilient and protective of users’ privacy for healthcare applications integrated with IoT. This strategy offers a safe and open setting for the management and exchange of sensitive patient medical data, while simultaneously preserving the confidentiality of the patients involved.

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