Contemporary technology advances have influenced numerous industries. However, the healthcare realm remains an exception. In an effort to uphold patient confidentiality, patient records are outdated and lack digitization. After consulting multiple clinics and doctors, patients and clinicians lack access to complete records. This miscommunication of patient records is a potentially fatal consequence, as it limits clinicians and their abilities to accurately provide care.

The goal of our team was to provide a safe and efficient means of transferring patient data to ensure that patients receive optimized and timely care from clinicians.

What it does

SeCURE is a mobile application that streamlines the viewing and transferring of patient records through an instant messaging-style platform. Users are given their own unique @ tag, which serves as a public key for data transfer. From the patient’s perspective, the user is able to view and transfer their medical records, secured by @protocol end-to-end encryption. Furthermore, patients are able to view a list of clinicians to whom data was sent, with the most recent transfers at the top of the page.

From a clinician’s point-of-view, the user dashboard is configured to represent a message inbox, with a list of most recent patient transfers at the top and the ability to reply with notes, updates to records, prescriptions, test results, immunizations, etc. Clinicians are additionally able to click on patient profiles to view expanded medical records. For easy compatibility with local EHR, medical records on SeCURE are standardized using the FHIR specialization.

In order to uphold additional security through all phases of data transfer, patients are required to provide consent in order to allow clinicians to view and update records.

How we built it

SeCURE was designed to act as a one-size-fits all solution in order to ensure that it could support as many patients and clinicians as possible. In keeping with this, the front end of SeCURE is built upon the Flutter mobile application framework. The use of flutter enabled us to rapidly develop a cross-platform application without sacrificing a user-friendly interface.

For the back end, we relied on the @ protocol to provide a robust means of end-to-end encrypted data transfer. In order to ensure compatibility with as many healthcare providers as possible, data in our application is stored in a manner compliant with FIHR specifications. Specifically, this will be facilitated through the FIHR-FLI set of packages.

Challenges we ran into

One of the most prominent challenges that we faced was the potential intensity of patient data. A large file size could cause difficulties when transferring data from the patient to the clinician.

Another concern during our app brainstorming was the need to uphold patient confidentiality while transferring records in an instant messaging-like platform. This was resolved through the use of @protocol's end-to-end encryption.

Another significant challenge that is more specific to app development was in running our emulator. Throughout the Android Virtual Device (AVD) setup and configuration, system settings in our computers prevented Virtualization and had to be modified in BIOS. Additionally, deprecated NDK configurations prevented the proper running of our AVD.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We successfully designed a fully featured User Interface and implemented the vast majority of its front-end functions via flutter. We also created a robust network system that allows for rapid, secure patient record transfers without compromising accessibility.

What we learned

We came out of the project with a fuller understanding of secure encryption systems, the flutter app-development library, and medical record protocols. Building our app and directly interacting with the @ protocol through a GCP server gave us insight into how we can implement intuitive systems that demand security.

What's next for SeCURE

We still have a few steps left in our plan to complete the SeCURE application. While our flutter application’s front end is almost feature complete, we still have work to do on recording data in the FIHR specification and implementing @protocol end-to-end encryption. Once these key tasks are completed, our application will be fully functional.

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