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Technical Report

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Technical Report Number



As healthcare in many countries faces an aging population and rising costs, mobile sensing technologies promise a new opportunity. Using mobile health (mHealth) sensing, which uses medical sensors to collect data about the patients, and mobile phones to act as a gateway between sensors and electronic health record systems, caregivers can continuously monitor the patients and deliver better care. Furthermore, individuals can become better engaged in monitoring and managing their own health. Although some work on mHealth sensing has addressed security, achieving strong privacy for low-power sensors remains a challenge.

We make three contributions. First, we propose an mHealth sensing protocol that provides strong security and privacy properties with low energy overhead, suitable for low-power sensors. The protocol uses three novel techniques: adaptive security, to dynamically modify transmission overhead; MAC striping, to make forgery difficult even for small-sized MACs; and an asymmetric resource requirement. Second, we demonstrate a prototype on a Chronos wrist device, and evaluate it experimentally. Third, we provide a security, privacy, and energy analysis of our system.


This technical report is an expanded version of the paper that is to appear in the Proceedings of the ACM Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (WPES), October 2011.