Metadata Privacy Preservation for Blockchain-Based Healthcare Systems

Lixin Liu, Xinyu Li, Zhuoya Fan, Man Ho Au, Xiaofeng Meng

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Blockchain-based healthcare systems provide a patient-centric and accountable way to manage and share electronic health records. Thanks to its unique features, the blockchain is employed to record the metadata and to carry out access control. Nevertheless, the transparent nature of blockchain also poses a new challenge to these systems. We identify that the metadata stored on the blockchain leaks the relationship between doctors and patients. Based on this relationship, the adversary can launch linkage attacks to infer patients’ information. Hence, it is necessary to protect metadata privacy. However, strong privacy protection may reduce accountability. Striking a balance between accountability and privacy preservation is a major challenge for the blockchain and its applications. In this paper, we first elaborate on the reasons why the metadata could leak the privacy of patients in blockchain-based healthcare systems. After that, we propose privacy-preserving and accountable protocols to deal with this problem for two different healthcare scenarios: the single doctor case and the group consultation case. Finally, the theoretical analysis demonstrates the practicality of our protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDatabase Systems for Advanced Applications - 27th International Conference, DASFAA 2022, Proceedings
EditorsArnab Bhattacharya, Janice Lee Mong Li, Divyakant Agrawal, P. Krishna Reddy, Mukesh Mohania, Anirban Mondal, Vikram Goyal, Rage Uday Kiran
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783031001222
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Event27th International Conference on Database Systems for Advanced Applications, DASFAA 2022 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 11 Apr 202214 Apr 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13245 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference27th International Conference on Database Systems for Advanced Applications, DASFAA 2022
CityVirtual, Online


  • Accountability
  • Healthcare system
  • Privacy preservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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