Efficient and Privacy-Preserving Medical Research Support Platform against COVID-19: A Blockchain-Based Approach

Keping Yu, Liang Tan, Xinglin Shang, Junjie Huang, Gautam Srivastava, Pushpita Chatterjee

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)


COVID-19 is a major global public health challenge and difficult to control in a short time completely. To prevent the COVID-19 epidemic from continuing to worsen, global scientific research institutions have actively carried out studies on COVID-19, thereby effectively improving the prevention, monitoring, tracking, control, and treatment of the epidemic. However, the COVID-19 electronic medical records (CEMRs) among hospitals worldwide are managed independently. With privacy consideration, CEMRs cannot be made public or shared, which is not conducive to in-depth and extensive research on COVID-19 by medical research institutions. In addition, even if new research results are developed, the disclosure and sharing process is slow. To address this issue, we propose a blockchain-based medical research support platform, which can provide efficient and privacy-preserving data sharing against COVID-19. First, hospitals and medical research institutions are treated as nodes on the alliance chain, so consensus and data sharing among the nodes is achieved. Then, COVID-19 patients, doctors, and researchers need to be authenticated in various institutes. Moreover, doctors and researchers need to be registered with the Fabric certificate authority. The CEMRs for COVID-19 patients uses the blockchain's pseudonym mechanism to protect privacy. After that, doctors upload CEMRs on the alliance chain, and researchers can obtain CEMRs from the alliance chain for research. Finally, the research results will be published on the blockchain for doctors to use. The experimental results show that the read and write performance and security performance on the alliance chain meet the requirements, which can promote the wide application of scientific research results against COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Specialist publicationIEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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