Improving trust and securing data accessibility for e-health decision making by using data encryption techniques

Shin, Dong Il (2012) Improving trust and securing data accessibility for e-health decision making by using data encryption techniques. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


In the medical and healthcare arena, patients‟ data is not just their own personal history but also a valuable large dataset for finding solutions for diseases. While electronic medical records are becoming popular and are used in healthcare work places like hospitals, as well as insurance companies, and by major stakeholders such as physicians and their patients, the accessibility of such information should be dealt with in a way that preserves privacy and security. Thus, finding the best way to keep the data secure has become an important issue in the area of database security. Sensitive medical data should be encrypted in databases. There are many encryption/ decryption techniques and algorithms with regard to preserving privacy and security. Currently their performance is an important factor while the medical data is being managed in databases. Another important factor is that the stakeholders should decide more cost-effective ways to reduce the total cost of ownership. As an alternative, DAS (Data as Service) is a popular outsourcing model to satisfy the cost-effectiveness but it takes a consideration that the encryption/ decryption modules needs to be handled by trustworthy stakeholders. This research project is focusing on the query response times in a DAS model (AES-DAS) and analyses the comparison between the outsourcing model and the in-house model which incorporates Microsoft built-in encryption scheme in a SQL Server. This research project includes building a prototype of medical database schemas. There are 2 types of simulations to carry out the project. The first stage includes 6 databases in order to carry out simulations to measure the performance between plain-text, Microsoft built-in encryption and AES-DAS (Data as Service). Particularly, the AES-DAS incorporates implementations of symmetric key encryption such as AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and a Bucket indexing processor using Bloom filter. The results are categorised such as character type, numeric type, range queries, range queries using Bucket Index and aggregate queries. The second stage takes the scalability test from 5K to 2560K records. The main result of these simulations is that particularly as an outsourcing model, AES-DAS using the Bucket index shows around 3.32 times faster than a normal AES-DAS under the 70 partitions and 10K record-sized databases. Retrieving Numeric typed data takes shorter time than Character typed data in AES-DAS. The aggregation query response time in AES-DAS is not as consistent as that in MS built-in encryption scheme. The scalability test shows that the DBMS reaches in a certain threshold; the query response time becomes rapidly slower. However, there is more to investigate in order to bring about other outcomes and to construct a secured EMR (Electronic Medical Record) more efficiently from these simulations.

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ID Code: 50636
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Sahama, Tony, Kim, Steve (Jung Tae), & Iannella, Renato
Keywords: AES (advanced encryption standard), bloom filter, bucket index, collection classes, DAS (data as service), encryption, LINQ (language integrated query), microsoft built-in DBMS (database management system), outsourcing, partitioning, singleton design pattern, symmetric key encryption
Divisions: Past > Schools > Computer Science
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 28 May 2012 05:15
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015 02:26

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