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A Secure Handshake Scheme with Symptoms-Matching for mHealthcare Social Network


In our aging society, mHealthcare social network (MHSN) built upon wireless body sensor network (WBSN) and mobile communications provides a promising platform for the seniors who have the same symptom to exchange their experiences, give mutual support and inspiration to each other, and help forwarding their health information wirelessly to a related eHealth center. However, there exist many challenging security issues in MHSN such as how to securely identify a senior who has the same symptom, how to prevent others who don’t have the symptom from knowing someone’s symptom? In this paper, to tackle these challenging security issues, we propose a secure same-symptom-based handshake (SSH) scheme. Specifically, in the proposed SSH scheme, each patient is granted with a pseudo-ID and its private key corresponding to his symptom. When two patients meet, only if they have the same symptom, they can use their private keys to make mutual authentication. With the provable security technique, we demonstrate the proposed SSH is secure in the MHSN scenarios. Moreover, we also discuss a promising application – social-based patient health information (PHI) collaborative reporting in MHSN, and conduct extensive simulations to evaluate its efficiency in terms of PHI delivery ratio and reporting delay.

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    Note that if the patent user U i have more than one kind of symptoms, he can obtain all corresponding private keys. In our current work, we consider each patient only has one kind of symptom.


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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xuemin Shen.

Additional information

Part of this paper was presented at the 5th International Conference on Body Area Networks (BodyNets’10) [1]. This work was supported in part by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

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Lu, R., Lin, X., Liang, X. et al. A Secure Handshake Scheme with Symptoms-Matching for mHealthcare Social Network. Mobile Netw Appl 16, 683–694 (2011).

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  • mobile healthcare social network
  • secure handshake with symptoms-matching
  • social-based PHI collaborative reporting