News | Electronic Medical Records (EMR) | January 26, 2017

Heartbeat Could Be Used as Password to Access Electronic Health Records

Researchers use heart’s electrical pattern as encryption key for electronic records

ECG, heartbeat, password access, electronic health records, Binghamton University SUNY study, Zhanpeng Jin

January 26, 2017 — Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have devised a new way to protect personal electronic health records using a patient’s own heartbeat.

“The cost and complexity of traditional encryption solutions prevent them being directly applied to telemedicine or mobile healthcare. Those systems are gradually replacing clinic-centered healthcare, and we wanted to find a unique solution to protect sensitive personal health data with something simple, available and cost-effective,” said Zhanpeng Jin, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Binghamton University. Jin is the co-author of a new paper titled “A Robust and Reusable ECG-based Authentication and Data Encryption Scheme for eHealth Systems.”

Traditional security measures — like cryptography or encryption — can be expensive, time-consuming and computing-intensive. Binghamton researchers encrypted patient data using a person’s unique electrocardiograph (ECG) — a measurement of the electrical activity of the heart measured by a biosensor attached to the skin — as the key to lock and unlock the files.

“The ECG signal is one of the most important and common physiological parameters collected and analyzed to understand a patient's’ health,” said Jin. “While ECG signals are collected for clinical diagnosis and transmitted through networks to electronic health records, we strategically reused the ECG signals for the data encryption. Through this strategy, the security and privacy can be enhanced while minimum cost will be added.”

Essentially, the patient's heartbeat is the password to access their electronic health records.

The identification scheme is a combination of previous work by Jin using a person’s unique brainprint instead of traditional passwords for access to computers and buildings combined with cybersecurity work from Guo and Chen.

“This research will be very helpful and significant for next-generation secure, personalized healthcare,” said Jin.

Since an ECG may change due to age, illness or injury — or a patient may just want to change how their records are accessed — researchers are currently working out ways to incorporate those variables.

Assistant Professor Linke Guo and Associate Professor Yu Chen, along with Ph.D. candidates Pei Huang and Borui Li, are co-authors of the paper.

The research was presented at The IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM 2016) in Washington, D.C., in December 2016.

The work is supported by Binghamton University’s Interdisciplinary Collaboration Grant (ICG) program.

For more information: www.globecom2016.ieee-globecom.org

Related Content

OTC ECG devices

OTC ECG devices can help detect abnormal heart rhythms in the general population, and this technology will continue to improve.

Feature | ECG | March 11, 2020
Apple created a stir when it...
Several wearable, less-obtrusive ECG monitors fhave been cleared by the FDA for longer wear. This example is Cardiac Insight’s Cardea SOLO device. 

Several wearable, less-obtrusive ECG monitors have been cleared by the FDA for longer wear. This example is Cardiac Insight’s Cardea SOLO device. 

Feature | ECG | February 19, 2020
When the patients of Michael Boler, M.D. need cardiac monitoring, the Holter monitor is no longer his first choice. “...
The Bittium Faros uses a 4-in-1 ECG technology. It is a lightweight, waterproof and can be configured for different patient monitoring needs. Bittium Faros Holter monitoring.

The Bittium Faros uses a 4-in-1 ECG technology. It is a lightweight, waterproof and can be configured for different patient monitoring needs. 
 

News | ECG | January 22, 2020
January 22, 2020 – Bittium is exhibiting solutions for cardiology at...
Cardiologs
News | ECG | December 12, 2019
December 12, 2019 — Cardiologs, a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI)
FDA Clears AliveCor's KardiaMobile 6L as First Six-Lead Personal ECG Device
Technology | ECG | May 13, 2019
AliveCor announced its third U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance in three months, making KardiaMobile 6L...
One innovation in ECG is its use in the customer wearable market, which will tie more closely into the clinical world either with using the data to triage patients and/or patients seeking medical attention prior to acute symptoms appearing.

One innovation in ECG is its use in the customer wearable market, which will tie more closely into the clinical world either with using the data to triage patients and/or patients seeking medical attention prior to acute symptoms appearing.

Feature | ECG | May 03, 2019 | Sanket Solanki
Technology has made its way into the healthcare sector and brought a drastic transformation.
Videos | ECG | March 05, 2019
This is a quick demo of the Schiller Cardiovit FT-1 electrocardiograph (ECG) system displayed at the ...
EKG With Artificial Intelligence Reliably Detects Heart Failure Precursor
News | ECG | January 08, 2019
January 8, 2019 — A Mayo Clinic study finds that applying...
Use of traditional Holter monitor leads can be an issue for patient compliance and comfort. The newer generation ambulatory cardiac monitors use an adhesive patch that sticks directly on the patient's chest and allows them to shower and go about daily activities without a belt mounted monitor or leads getting in the way. This is especially important for longer term monitoring of seven days or longer.

Use of traditional Holter monitor leads can be an issue for patient compliance and comfort. The newer generation ambulatory cardiac monitors use a small, adhesive patch that sticks directly on the patient's chest and allows them to shower and go about daily activities without a belt mounted monitor or leads getting in the way. This is especially important for longer term monitoring of seven days or longer. 

Feature | ECG | September 27, 2018
Advances in the technology of wearable cardiac monitors are improving both the experience of the patient and the effe
HeartSciences MyoVista ECG Device Shows Promise in Detecting Abnormal Cardiac Function
News | ECG | April 27, 2018
HeartSciences announced the results of a clinical study of its electrocardiography device that applies continuous...