Thinking Out of the Blocks: Holochain for Distributed Security in IoT Healthcare

Shakila Zaman, Muhammad R. A. Khandaker, Risala T. Khan, Faisal Tariq, Kai-Kit Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
178 Downloads (Pure)


The Internet-of-Things (IoT) is an emerging technology that connects and integrates a massive number of smart physical devices with virtual objects operating in diverse platforms through the internet. Due to massive size and physical spread of many applications such as smart healthcare, IoT is increasingly implemented in distributed setting. This distributed nature of implementation of the entities connected to the IoT networks are exposed to an unprecedented level of privacy and security threats. This is particularly severe for IoT healthcare system as it involves huge volume of sensitive and personal data. Although blockchain has posed to be the solution in this scenario thanks to its inherent distributed ledger technology (DLT), it suffers from a major drawback of rapidly increasing storage and computation requirements with the increase in network size which makes its implementation impractical. This paper proposes a holochain-based security and privacy-preserving framework for IoT healthcare systems that overcomes the scalability challenge and is particularly suited for resource constrained IoT scenarios. Through thorough analysis and performance results, we have demonstrated that the holochain based IoT healthcare solution outperforms blockchain based solution in terms of resource requirements while ensuring appropriate level of privacy and security.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37064-37081
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2022


  • Holochain
  • IoT
  • blockchain
  • healthcare technology
  • security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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