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In this paper, we propose a privacy-preserving emergency call scheme, called PEC, enabling patients in life-threatening emergencies to fast and accurately transmit emergency data to the nearby helpers via mobile healthcare social networks (MHSNs). Once an emergency happens, the personal digital assistant (PDA) of the patient runs the PEC to collect the emergency data including emergency location, patient health record, as well as patient physiological condition. The PEC then generates an emergency call with the emergency data inside and epidemically disseminates it to every user in the patient's neighborhood. If a physician happens to be nearby, the PEC ensures the time used to notify the physician of the emergency is the shortest. We show via theoretical analysis that the PEC is able to provide fine-grained access control on the emergency data, where the access policy is set by patients themselves. More- over, the PEC can withstand multiple types of attacks, such as identity theft attack, forgery attack, and collusion attack. We also de- vise an effective revocation mechanism to make the revocable PEC (rPEC) resistant to inside attacks. In addition, we demonstrate via simulation that the PEC can significantly reduce the response time of emergency care in MHSNs.
Date of Publication: April 2011