Blockchain to secure healthcare environments

The increasing number of data breaches in the healthcare sector is causing serious problems in management and storage. In addition, traditional security methods being used to protect healthcare applications are proving ineffective. This is why emerging technologies such as blockchain are offering new security approaches and processes for healthcare applications, providing data confidentiality and privacy.

Data breaches are one of the main cybersecurity issues in the healthcare sector. Figure 1 shows how the amount of health record data leakage has been increasing, highlighting a large change between 2018 and 2019, a date coinciding with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Figure 1. Number of data breaches of 500 or more health records in the healthcare sector from 2009 to 2021. Source:
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Hacking DICOM: the hospital standard

Have you ever thought that radiographs were just JPG images? Do you remember hearing the name DICOM? In this article we expect to resolve all your doubts about the protocol for sending medical images and show you its implications for cybersecurity.

Quick introduction to DICOM

Figure 1. DICOM logo

Medical images that are transmitted within hospitals, such as X-rays or ultrasounds, are not in the common image formats, but are in DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) format. However, they can be converted to JPG or PNG.

Although at first glance it looks like a simple image format, DICOM is much more: it is the standard for transmission, storage, retrieval, printing, processing and visualization of medical images and their information. Thanks to the implementation of this standard, technology in the health field was revolutionized, replacing physical radiographs with digital radiographs with all the implied data. Today, DICOM is recognized as the ISO 12052 standard.

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