Date of Award
Master of Science
Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
Human Computer Interaction
Richard T Stone
The adoption of blockchain shows a variety of benefits owing to an incorruptible digital ledger and a decentralized database. This has eliminated the need for a gatekeeper to oversee all associated transactions. Blockchain, the underlying technology behind bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, has found use in many industries besides finance, such as healthcare, where it has shown promise in several use-cases. Patient data is collected using a plethora of devices, such as wearables or IoT-enabled home use medical devices. These types of devices are utilized in telehealth and provide the ability to remotely monitor the patient’s health condition. This requires the patient to perform measurements themselves in their home (such as vital signs), which puts the burden of reliable and precised patient exam data in the hands of the patients. The purpose of this quantitative study is to increase the understanding of what factors affect data usability generated by these devices, with the findings that the surveyed medical professionals are concerned that patients may have issues setting up the device in the home, operating the device properly (including not positioning themselves or the device correctly), the provider not knowing where the patient resides during measurement, or the patient’s inability to determine when a device has malfunctioned. Upon analyzing blockchain’s capabilities, it was discovered that blockchain cannot fix all identified hurdles, however, it can be used (in conjunction with smart contracts) to limit invalid data transmission to the provider. It was discussed that blockchain may also be utilized to overcome interoperability issues caused by the inability of most Electronic Medical Records (EMRs – sometimes also referred to as Electronic Health Record – EHR) to communicate and provide the patient governance of his/her own medical record. While there are interoperability issues amongst blockchain themselves, Estonia, for instance, has harnessed the power of a single blockchain for digital security and has overcome this interoperability issue.
Baumann, Steffen, "Evaluation of data usability generated by wearables & IoT-enabled home use medical devices via Telehealth to identify if blockchain can solve potential challenges" (2020). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 18094.