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Your Health Record in a Heartbeat?
Study suggests an ECG could serve as a secure 'password' for a patient's electronic medical history

By Robert Preidt

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A patient's heartbeat might one day be used to protect his or her electronic health records, a new study suggests.

Traditional security methods can be expensive and time-consuming. So, U.S. researchers investigated the use of a person's unique electrocardiograph (ECG) -- the electrical activity of the heart measured by a sensor attached to the skin -- as a way to lock and unlock electronic health records.

"The ECG signal is one of the most important and common physiological parameters collected and analyzed to understand a patient's health," said study co-author Zhanpeng Jin. He's an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y.

"While ECG signals are collected for clinical diagnosis and transmitted through networks to electronic health records, we strategically reused the ECG signals for the data encryption. Through this strategy, the security and privacy can be enhanced while minimum cost will be added," Jin said in a university news release.

A person's ECG can change due to age, illness or injury, so the researchers are working on ways to incorporate those and other variables, he noted.

"This research will be very helpful and significant for next-generation secure, personalized health care," Jin said.

The study was presented recently at an electronic communications conference in Washington, D.C. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

HealthIT.gov explains how to protect your health information.

SOURCE: Binghamton University, news release, Jan. 18, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=718821

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Electrocardiography
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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