Seminar: Consent Management in Healthcare by Using Blockchain Technology

Dianlong Zhang
M.Sc. Candidate
Supervisor: Dr. Edward Brown

Consent Management in Healthcare by Using Blockchain Technology

Department of Computer Science
Friday, August 11, 2017, 11:00 a.m., Room EN 2022


Consent management enables individuals to establish privacy preferences for accessing personal health information (PHI) and the purpose of use. Current consent management technology generally defines access in terms of specific datasets and specific users, limiting flexibility. Applying blockchain technology to consent management allows patient consent directives to be separated from PHI, improving the scope of directives and consequently increasing PHI safety. Patients only need to deal with their consent directives on the blockchain to direct who can access their PHI without requiring specific control or knowledge of the PHI storage technology. This project provides a proof-of-concept implementation with a private Ethereum blockchain test network, building consent directives via the Solidity smart contract language. A simple smart contract will be shown to demonstrate how the consent directives work and how the patient can manipulate the blockchain content. The demo will illustrate how consent directive access control might be implemented with blockchain and the feasibility of this technology for improving comprehensive consent management.