Transformed Health Ecosystems—Challenges for Security, Privacy, and Trust

Pekka Ruotsalainen, Bernd Blobel

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A transformed health ecosystem is a multi-stakeholder coalition that collects, stores, and shares personal health information (PHI) for different purposes, such as for personalized care, prevention, health prediction, precise medicine, personal health management, and public health purposes. Those services are data driven, and a lot of PHI is needed not only from received care and treatments, but also from a person’s normal life. Collecting, processing, storing, and sharing of the huge amount of sensitive PHI in the ecosystem cause many security, privacy, and trust challenges to be solved. The authors have studied those challenges from different perspectives using existing literature and found that current security and privacy solutions are insufficient, and for the user it is difficult to know whom to trust, and how much. Furthermore, in today’s widely used privacy approaches, such as privacy as choice or control and belief or perception based trust does not work in digital health ecosystems. The authors state that it is necessary to redefine the way privacy and trust are understood in health, to develop new legislation to support new privacy and approaches, and to force the stakeholders of the health ecosystem to make their privacy and trust practices and features of their information systems available. The authors have also studied some candidate solutions for security, privacy, and trust to be used in future health ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number827253
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • ecosystem
  • personal health information
  • privacy
  • security
  • trust

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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