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Agusti Solanas, Antoni Martinez-Balleste, Pablo A Perez-Martinez, Albert Fernandez de la Pena, Javier Ramos

IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications 31 (9), 19-27

Description: Age-related diseases are becoming more prominent due to life expectancy increase in developed countries. Mild cog- nitive impairment and several types of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease are gaining importance both socially and economically. Patients suffering from these diseases have different degrees of autonomy and, thus, different needs. Often, relatives or friends take care of those patients. However, during the first stages of the disease, they still have a high degree of autonomy and frown on the supervision of others. Despite their autonomy, patients could get lost and disoriented. Rapidly determining the location of a lost patient is paramount to reduce the risk of suffering serious injuries. Current solutions to this problem are based on the continuous monitoring of the patient. Such continuous control might be seen by most people as a privacy invasion, and it may discourage patients from using these solutions. In this article we present the concept of m-Carer as a smart mobile device able to privately monitor the movements of patients having diverse degrees of mobility and autonomy. After justifying the need for privacy-aware m-carers due to social and economical reasons, we propose a complete architecture aimed at fulfilling the needs of patients, relatives and healthcare services. Moreover, we show a real implementation of our proposal so as to confirm that it is technically sound and feasible.

Agusti Solanas, Antoni Martinez-Balleste, Josep M Mateo-Sanz

IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security 8 (6), 901-910

Description: In this paper, we present the concept of double-phase microaggregation as an improvement of classical microaggregation for the protection of privacy in distributed scenarios without fully trusted parties. We apply this new concept in the context of mobile health and we show that a distributed architecture consisting of patients and several intermediate entities can apply it to protect the privacy of patients, whose data are released to third parties for secondary use. After recalling some fundamental concepts of statistical disclosure control and microaggregation, we detail the distributed architecture that allows the private gathering, storage, and sharing of biomedical data. We show that double-phase multivariate microaggregation properly fits the needs for privacy preservation of biomedical data in the distributed context of mobile health. Moreover, we show that double-phase microaggregation performs similarly to classical microaggregation in terms of information loss, disclosure risk, and correlation preservation, while avoiding the limitations of a centralized approach.

Agusti Solanas, Jordi Castellà-Roca

Recent Patents on Electrical & Electronic Engineering (Formerly Recent Patents on Electrical Engineering) 1 (1), 22-31

Description: Health care is the linchpin of a developed society. The general trend in developed countries is to increase public spending to improve the quality of health care. However, the economic model applied to the health care sector varies from one country to another. There are models in which health care costs are mainly supported by governments. On the contrary, there are other economic models such as the “fee-for-service" model in which patients pay for the services like in any other service industry. Whichever model is used, technology can help increase the efficiency of the service and the reliability of the diagnoses. Specially, Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) technology can drastically improve the processing times associated to medical records retrieval, dispensing of medications, personnel management, etc. In this article, we explore some of the most relevant patents, which propose the use of the RFID technology in the health care sector. We provide an overview of the field and a classification of the patents in several categories, being the aim to facilitate the task of researchers, practitioners and managers when looking for patents in this field. Moreover, we analyse a recent and relevant patent application from KodakTM that provides a system for monitoring the ingestion of medicines by means of digestible RFID tags attached to the medicines.

Josep Domingo-Ferrer, Agusti Solanas

Information Sciences 178 (24), 4644-4655

Description: The need for measuring the dispersion of nominal categorical attributes appears in several applications, like clustering or data anonymization. For a nominal attribute whose categories can be hierarchically classified, a measure of the variance of a sample drawn from that attribute is proposed which takes the attribute’s hierarchy into account. The new measure is the reciprocal of “consanguinity”: the less related the nominal categories in the sample, the higher the measured variance. For non-hierarchical nominal attributes, the proposed measure yields results consistent with previous diversity indicators. Applications of the new nominal variance measure to economic diversity measurement and data anonymization are also discussed.

Rolando Trujillo-Rasua, Agusti Solanas, Pablo A Pérez-Martínez, Josep Domingo-Ferrer

Computers in Industry 63 (6), 557-573

Description: Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a technology aimed at efficiently identifying products that has greatly influenced the manufacturing businesses in recent years. Although the RFID technology has been widely accepted by the manufacturing and retailing sectors, there are still many issues regarding its scalability, security and privacy. With regard to privacy, the sharing of identification information amongst multiple parties is also an issue (especially after the massive outsourcing that is taking place in our global market). Securely and efficiently sharing iden- tification information with multiple parties is a tough problem that must be considered so as to avert the undesired disclosure of confidential information. Specially in the context of supply chain management. In this article, we propose a private and scalable protocol for RFID col- laborative readers to securely identify RFID tags. We define the general concepts of “next reader predictor” (NRP) and “previous reader predictor” (PRP) used by the readers to predict the trajectories of tags and collaborate efficiently. We also propose a specific Markov-based predictor implementa- tion. By the very nature of our distributed protocol, the collaborative readers can naturally help in mitigating the problem of sharing identification infor- mation amongst multiple parties securely, which is essential in the context of supply chain management. The experimental results show that our proposal outperforms previous approaches.

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