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Hierarchical encryption for Patient records Disclosure Number: IPCOM000202738D
Publication Date: 2010-Dec-27
Document File: 4 page(s) / 89K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database



This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 48% of the total text.

Page 01 of 4


Title of the invention: Hierarchical Encryption of Patient Records

Summary of the invention, where KEY WORDS are underlined which might be useful in searching for relevant patents or publications:

Encryption of patient data is a critical requirement as per the guidelines framed by the regulatory authorities. As a result, powerful encryption algorithms are to be applied before archiving the medical images, calling for additional computation power and time. During the transfer of the image, the additional bits used for content security will be the overhead. In this disclosure, a mechanism of graded security is provided so that the overall overhead is reduced and at the same time, the security is not compromised and adheres to the regulatory requirements.

Background of the invention

It is important to encrypt diagnostic information of patients so that it will not be accessible to people it is not intended. The standards like HL7, HIPPA have laid down guidelines for the security of health records. The entire image is protected with the same strength that may not be required.

Today, the same security algorithms and the same strength of key are applied to the entire image. However, it is often not required. Only the sensitive information demands more security. For example, in the chest x ray of a coronary angio patient, the angio part needs a stronger encryption so that the presence (or absence) of coronary angiography is not revealed. However, the background or the bones in the image need very less encryption as they reveal insignificant information. Such distinct adaptive encryption based on the context for different regions of the images does not exist in prior art.

Problems or disadvantages overcome by the invention

 Over encryption of the regions in the image where there is no useful information or interest resulting increased complexity.

 Encryption of full content with the same strength is expensive from the point of view of processing involved.

 No mechanism to provide region wise security, proportional to the relevance of the information of the content.

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 No mechanism to selectively expose the different regions of the image or health record to carve out multiple views of the same data.

The essential features of the invention

 Context based encryption
 Multiple encryption schemes support for different regions of the same image. Highest ranked image regions are encrypted with highest strength.
 Multiple views of the same data depending up on the medical requirements. E.g. A physician may be interested in the chest image of the patient. The underlying spinal cord details in the same image may be masked to maintain the privacy. The same way, with different sets of encryption, the records of the patient may be selectively and appropriately exposed in the different phases of the medical workflow.
 Substantial reduction in the image/data transfer bandwidth if the above feature is implemented...