Improving the data access control using blockchain for healthcare domain

Su Cheng Haw*, Olaosebikan Tahir Yinka, Timothy Tzen Vun Yap, Samini Subramaniam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Unauthorized access to data is one of the most significant privacy issues that hinder most industries from adopting big data technologies. Even though specific processes and structures have been put in place to deal with access authorization and identity management for large databases nonetheless, the scalability criteria are far beyond the capabilities of traditional databases. Hence, most researchers are looking into other solutions, such as big data management. Methods: In this paper, we firstly study the strengths and weaknesses of implementing cryptography and blockchain for identity management and authorization control in big data, focusing on the healthcare domain. Subsequently, we propose a decentralized data access and sharing system that preserves privacy to ensure adequate data access management under the blockchain. In addition, we designed a blockchain framework to resolve the decentralized data access and sharing system privacy issues, by implementing a public key infrastructure model, which utilizes a signature cryptography algorithm (elliptic curve and signcryption). Lastly, we compared the proposed blockchain model to previous techniques to see how well it performed. Results: We evaluated the blockchain on four performance metrics which include throughput, latency, scalability, and security. The proposed blockchain model was tested using a sample of 5000 patients and 500,000 observations. The performance evaluation results further showed that the proposed model achieves higher throughput and lower latency compared to existing approaches when the workload varies up to 10,000 transactions. Discussion: This research reviews the importance of blockchains as they provide infinite possibilities to individuals, companies, and governments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number901
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2021


  • Access Control
  • Blockchain
  • Chaincode
  • Directed Acyclic Graph
  • Healthcare datasets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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