ENABLING SECURE MATERNAL HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE USING BLOCKCHAIN.
GUYA, MUSABI ANTONY
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Medical facilities in Kenya have made efforts to adopt Electronic Health Records systems at various levels and for different use cases. However, there lacks a robust and secure system for sharing sensitive and confidential health records curtails the potential benefits that can be gained by shared electronic health records especially the antenatal care process. Current methods do not provide comprehensive data integrity and non-repudiation of patient medical history as the patient seeks care from one provider to another. This situation is even dire and most detrimental to the most vulnerable of citizens, in expectant mothers, children and marginalized groups. These shared electronic health records that include provision of historical health information is critical to facilitate the making of informed medical decisions. There is need to solve these concerns on the confidentiality of patients‟ records adequately by introducing data encryption and patient mediated record access. As a result, thereof, a blockchain-based solution would reliably address these concerns and result in access to better quality maternal healthcare services in Kenya. This study focused on developing a Blockchain based model for secure Maternal Health Information Exchange. The solutions targeted inter health facilities information interchange while ensuring data protection and access to information. This study-utilized design thinking methodology to guide the research process. For empathize stage, a purposive sampling was undertaken, and discourse analysis was done to design the model. The ideate stage arrived at a model that was developed into a prototype. The results were evaluated and validated using a goalbased evaluation methodology with a formative-assessment test regime with the aim of improving the weaknesses of the current information exchange within the Antenatal Care (ANC) process. The results of the validation significantly approve the use of the blockchain model within the Antenatal Care (ANC) domain. The results also aided and improved information exchange and will guide future research in blockchain for healthcare provision and improve the body of knowledge in Information Communication Technologies. As a generalisation and extension into other domains, the research concluded that blockchainbased model is important in medical institutions that value historical transactions, specifically, the Antenatal Care (ANC) process. As a recommendation for further study, the research can be extended to integrate blockchain model applications for purposes of providing data exchange in the areas of health such postnatal, family planning follow-ups, outpatient sections and specialists‟ consultation clinics within the field of health.