Security approaches for electronic health data handling through the Semantic Web: a scoping review

Tracking #: 3088-4302

Vinicius Costa Lima
Filipe Andrade Bernardi
Domingos Alves
Rui Pedro Charters Lopes Rijo

Responsible editor: 
Sabrina Kirrane

Submission type: 
Survey Article
Integration of health information systems are crucial to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communi-ties across organizational boundaries. Semantic Web technologies may be used to connect, correlate, and integrate heterogeneous datasets spread over the internet. However, when working with sensitive data, such as health data, security mechanisms are needed. A scoping review of the literature was undertaken to provide a broad view of security mechanisms applied to, or along with, Semantic Web technologies that could allow its use with health data. Searches were conducted in the most relevant databases for the scope of this work. The findings were classified according to the main objective and features presented by each solution. Twenty-six studies were included in the review. They introduced mechanisms that addressed several security attributes, such as authentication, authorization, integrity, availability, confidentiality, privacy, and provenance. These mechanisms support access control frameworks, semantic and functional interoperability infrastructures, and privacy compliance solutions. The findings suggest that the application and use of Semantic Web technologies is still growing, with the healthcare area being particularly interested. The main security mechanisms for Semantic Web technologies, the key security attributes and properties, and the main gaps in the literature were identified, helping to understand the technical needs to mitigate the risks of handling personal health information over the Semantic Web. Also, this research has shown that complex and robust solutions are available to suc-cessfully address several security properties and features, depending on the context that the electronic health data is being managed.
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