Arizona State University researchers develop biometric identification tool for medical apps

April 24, 2015 - 

Researchers at Arizona State University (ASU) have developed a new biometric identification solution that uses electrocardiogram (ECG) and photoplethysmography (PPG) health measurement signals to improve the security of apps, according to a report by iMedical Apps.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta, a professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department, and his team of researchers at ASU have created a new method to use ECG and PPG signals to generate user-specific keys to access a specific app.

The method currently requires the use of a peripheral device to capture either ECG or PPG signals, with the device being securely in the hands of the intended user.

The identification tool was initially intended for patients with devices that are not easily lost or stolen, such as implanted devices, said Dr. Gupta.

The protocol can be used with a smartphone, or a sensor with Wi-Fi or mobile capabilities that communicates directly with the cloud, said the researchers.

Once a secure channel has been established, the model’s parameters are continuously updated with the patient’s physiological data and rekeying is automatic.

In the event that there is a significant change in a patient’s ECG or PPG signals, the new physiological data can be updated through a doctor’s authorized account.

Additionally, the researchers list a number of potential applications for the protocol, including EHR management, end-to-end security, machine-to-machine communication, and physiology based encryption.

The solution could be potentially used for apps that pair with defibrillators, insulin pumps, and other key medical equipment.

The ASU research team are currently seeking various licensing opportunities for commercialization of the platform and its associated tools.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.