Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2020

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Major

Human Computer Interaction

First Advisor

Richard T Stone

Abstract

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.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/etd-20200902-13

Copyright Owner

Steffen Baumann

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

71 pages

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