Privacy and Trust in eHealth: A Fuzzy Linguistic Solution for Calculating the Merit of Service

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The use of eHealth and healthcare services are becoming increasingly common across networks and ecosystems. Identifying the quality and health impact of these services is a big problem that in many cases it is difficult determine. Health ecosystems are seldom designed with privacy and trust in mind, and the service user has almost no way of knowing how much trust to place in the service provider and other stakeholders using his or her personal health information (PHI). In addition, the service user cannot rely on privacy laws, and the ecosystem is not a trustworthy system. This demonstrates that, in real life, the user does not have significant privacy. Therefore, before starting to use eHealth services and subsequently disclosing personal health information (PHI), the user would benefit from tools to measure the level of privacy and trust the ecosystem can offer. For this purpose, the authors developed a solution that enables the service user to calculate a Merit of Service (Fuzzy attractiveness rating (FAR)) for the service provider and for the network where PHI is processed. A conceptual model for an eHealth ecosystem was developed. With the help of heuristic methods and system and literature analysis, a novel proposal to identify trust and privacy attributes focused on eHealth was developed. The FAR value is a combination of the service network’s privacy and trust features, and the expected health impact of the service. The computational Fuzzy linguistic method was used to calculate the FAR. For user friendliness, the Fuzzy value of Merit was transformed into a linguistic Fuzzy label. Finally, an illustrative example of FAR calculation is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number657
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • antecedents
  • Fuzzy attractiveness rating
  • modelling
  • privacy
  • trust

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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