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Towards the Use of Blockchain in Mobile Health Services and Applications

Santos, J. ; Inácio , P. R. M. I. ; Silva, B.

Journal of Medical Systems Vol. 45, Nº 2, pp. 1 - 10, January, 2021.

ISSN (print): 0148-5598
ISSN (online): 1573-689X

Scimago Journal Ranking: 1,13 (in 2021)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1007/s10916-020-01680-w

With the advent of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the growth and adaptation of cryptographic features and capabilities were quickly extended to new and underexplored areas, such as healthcare. Currently, blockchain is being implemented mainly as a mechanism to secure Electronic Health Records (EHRs). However, new studies have shown that this technology can be a powerful tool in empowering patients to control their own health data, as well for enabling a fool-proof health data history and establishing medical responsibility. Additionally, with the proliferation of mobile health (m-Health) sustained on serviceoriented architectures, the adaptation of blockchain mechanisms into m-Health applications creates the possibility for a more decentralized and available healthcare service. Hence, this paper presents a review of the current security best practices for mHealth and the most used and widely known implementations of the blockchain protocol, including blockchain technologies in m-Health. The main goal of this comprehensive review is to further discuss and elaborate on identified open-issues and potential use cases regarding the uses of blockchain in this area. Finally, the paper presents the major findings, challenges and advantages
on future blockchain implementations for m-Health services and applications.