Securing Medical Data in Smart Patient-Centric Healthcare Systems

Healthcare management is an increasingly complex, multi practitioner driven entity, precipitating a pressing need to collect and share highly confidential and personal medical data, obtained from a variety of sources; including personal medical devices. Data sharing may be necessary through a variety of means, including public networks and other systems, whose security cannot be implicitly trusted. Patients rightly expect full privacy, except where permission has been explicitly given,  but they equally expect to be provided with the best possible medical treatment. Evidence suggests that integrating home-based healthcare into a holistic treatment plan is more cost effective,  reduces travel-associated risks and costs, and increases the quality of health-care provision,  by allowing the incorporation of more frequent home-, work- and environment-based  monitoring and testing into medical diagnostics.    There is a strong and urgent demand to deliver better,  more efficient and more effective healthcare solutions that can achieve excellent patient-centric healthcare provision, while also complying with increasingly strict regulations on the use and sharing of patient data.  This provision needs to be multi-site, crossing traditional physical and professional  boundaries of hospitals,  health centers,  home and workplace, and even national borders.  It needs to engage hospitals,  medical practitioners, consultants and other specialists, as well as incorporating patient-provided data that is produced by personal monitoring devices,  health-care apps, environmental monitoring etc. This creates huge pressures. The goal of the SERUMS project is to put patients at the center of future health-care provision, enhancing their personal care,and maximizing the quality of treatment that they can receive, while ensuring trust in the security and privacy of their confidential medical data

It is the role of the University of St Andrews, under the leadership of Dr Juliana Bowles to coordinate the Serums Project. Serums forms part of the Horizon 2020 initiative and combines the expertise of our ten partners across seven countries. The Serums project aims to center future healthcare provision around patient need, enhancing personal care, and maximizing treatment quality, while ensuring patient trust in the security and privacy of their confidential medical data.


The concrete objectives of the Serums  project are:

Objective  1:  To develop new techniques  that will ensure the security and protection  of personal  medical data that is shared as part of a coherent smart healthcare system between patients, hospitals and medical practitioners, including across (possibly open and/or public) untrusted networks.  This fulfils part of Aim 1.

Objective  2:  To integrate  personal  medical  data from  multiple  sources  into  a single  coherent  smart patient record, including  from  personal  medical  monitoring  devices,  general  practitioners,  specialists  and hospitals. This also fulfils part of Aim 1.

Objective  3:  To develop new data analytic  techniques  that will be able to take advantage  of advances in the availability  of heterogeneous  real-time  personal  healthcare  information, as part of a holistic  smart healthcare system, while respecting privacy and security concerns.  This fulfils the remainder of Aim 1 and part of Aim 2.

Objective  4:   To develop/enhance  authentication  and trust mechanisms  that ensure  that only properly  autho• rized agents have access to the required parts of (personal  and/or)  medical data that are required  to carry out their duties etc.  This fulfils the remainder  of Aim 2 and part of Aim 3.

Objective  5:  To demonstrate  world-leading levels of compliance  with emerging legal and ethical requirements for the protection of personal and medical data across national boundaries, including transnational requirements such as GDPR. This fulfils the remainder of Aim 3.

Objective 6:  To demonstrate the effectiveness of the Serums techniques against a variety of real-world medical use cases, including both ongoing and emergency medical care scenarios, providing confidence in the delivery of high quality, ethically and legally compliant smart healthcare.  This fulfils part of Aim 4.

Objective 7:  To ensure  good uptake  of Serums concepts  and technologies  through  a dissemination  and ex• ploitation  approach that targets potential  users of smart healthcare  systems, as well as leading technology  and healthcare providers.  This fulfils the remainder of Aim 4.

Grant agreement ID: 826278
1 January 2019 – 30 June 2022
Funded under H2020-EU. budget €4 370 062,50 EU contribution €4 370 05
​Coordinated by the University of St Andrews