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University Leads on Patient Data Security Research

The University is leading a new project designed to put patients in control of their healthcare data. Securing Medical Data in Smart Patient-Centric Healthcare Systems through the Serums platform was led by Dr Juliana Bowles from the School of Computer Science.

The Serums website claims the goal of the project: “is to put patients at the center of future health-care provision, enhancing their personal care, and maximizing the quality of treatment that they can receive, while ensuring trust in the security and privacy of their confidential medical data.”

With the combined research of ten academic and medical institutions around the world, including the University of Dundee, the project focuses on the security and privacy of patient data in online healthcare. The research also explores opportunities for enhancing treatment quality through ensuring trust in the privacy of personal medical information, according to the Universities Communications Office.

The platform ‘Serums’ was funded by the European Commission and the University and ended on the 30th of June this year. With the research of medical and computer science professionals, it uses artificially synthesized medical data to test the functionality of the system. One important part of the security is that the system utilizes a two-factor authentication system, as well as an encrypted “picture passcode.”

On the platform website, it lists four core aims of the project “at the center of healthcare provision.” Aim 1 is to create techniques for healthcare that centers the patient and personalizes consultation. Aim 2 is to establish trust in the system, which will then allow for the patient to share confidential medical information across parties. Aim 3 is to safeguard patient control over their personal medical information, and the final aim is to “demonstrate the effectiveness and generality of Serum’s results by considering multiple disparate use cases, under different national regulatory frameworks.”

In response to a series of evaluations to allow the public to test the system, including a questionnaire, Dr Bowles said, “The system has had very encouraging feedback and has been well received by the public,” according to the Communications Office.

Image: University of St Andrews

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