Electrophysiological Authentication and the Decenteralized Internet: Solution for an autonomous decentralized personal controlled electronic health record

Hippocratic Oath


It is self-evident that the modern medical model is all about information and knowledge. (Proctor P. Reid 2005) As a health care provider it is easy to see the potential of electronic health records (EHR) or electronic medical record (EMR).(Bloice )(Bouri )(Griffith ) In 2005 President George W. Bush called for nationwide use of electronic medical records by 2014, which is fitting for this article because implementation of a national electronic medical record has been an utter failure.(GREENHALGH 2009)(Himmelstein 2010) A potential core disrupter to the ultimate success of EMR/EHR’s is the progressive centralizing-corporatization and proprietization of health care innovation and patient’s personal health information.(Salmon )(Jacobs )(Culhane ) There are many examples of this in other industries like journalism, pharmaceuticals, software development, entertainment industry where the medium or centralized authority created to provide the bridge between creator(Developer) and consumer(User) ultimately becomes antagonistic opposition.

There are serous liability risks for the clinicians and institutions who are the creator and custodians of personal health information (PHI), which results in further expense (IT, Legal) and liability exposure. Since the creation of the federal mandate requiring the reporting of data breaches involving 500 people or more, by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2006, there has been over 120 million individuals who have had their PHI breached.(Breaches Affecting 50...)

Open source or open collaboration movement, defined by

“any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants, who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and non-contributors alike”(Levine 2013)

and decentralization,

the process of redistributing or dispersing functions, powers, people or things away from a central location or authority,

are paramount for preserving patient privacy and the sacred trust inherent with the practice of medicine. The points of failure in building a universal EHR network is scalability, security and accessibility of data. Client side (Accessibility) open-source and proprietor EHR software development has seen the most benefit of the United States 600 billion dollar investment thus far and will not be the focus of this article; except the novel use of a universal biomarker that everyone has and is also very difficult to use for mass surveillance. Our greatest exposure, as health care providers with no real definitive solution, is network function, data storage, and true ownership of patient information.

SAFE (Secured Access for Everyone)

SAFE Network is

a decentralized network of users, communicating through the distributed self-encryption technology created by MaidSafe.MaidSafe

The SAFE network, decentralized Internet, is the solution for scalability, security, and accessibility of personal health information. The SAFE network manages static and dynamic data as well as communications via a decentralized server that performs the tasks of today’s httpd, ssh, scp, ftp, smtp, pop3, imap etc. servers. That means all services available on today’s centralized internet like cloud storage, VOIP, video streaming, EMR/EHR’s are possible without any data centres or centralizing structures and the data is spread across many computers (nodes) with no one device having an intact copy of a file.MaidSafe

19th century Auguste Kerckhoffs’ six principles of practical cipher design still hold true today and are essential elements needed for any successful reservoir of personal health information.(Kahn 1997) The SAFE network incorporates all six principles, but “Kerckhoffs’ principle” (Second principle) related to the design of a system should not require secrecy and the fifth that states documents should be portable and operable by a single person, are central to the SAFE network design.(Kahn 1997) The “trust No One” approach is used when cryptographic technology is fashioned in a way it is not necessary to trust a third party; and is the defining characteristic that will allow success of a universal resevoir of personal information like a PHR/EHR/EMR. The SAFE network satisfies this principle by three main system components: 1) Self Encryption 2) Autonomous network 3)Self Authentication.(Irvine 2010)(Irvine 2010a)(Irvine 2010b)