ModelChain: Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Healthcare Predictive Modeling Framework on Private Blockchain Networks
- Author(s): Kuo, Tsung-Ting;
- Ohno-Machado, Lucila
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://arxiv.org/pdf/1802.01746.pdf
Cross-institutional healthcare predictive modeling can accelerate research and facilitate quality improvement initiatives, and thus is important for national healthcare delivery priorities. For example, a model that predicts risk of re-admission for a particular set of patients will be more generalizable if developed with data from multiple institutions. While privacy-protecting methods to build predictive models exist, most are based on a centralized architecture, which presents security and robustness vulnerabilities such as single-point-of-failure (and single-point-of-breach) and accidental or malicious modification of records. In this article, we describe a new framework, ModelChain, to adapt Blockchain technology for privacy-preserving machine learning. Each participating site contributes to model parameter estimation without revealing any patient health information (i.e., only model data, no observation-level data, are exchanged across institutions). We integrate privacy-preserving online machine learning with a private Blockchain network, apply transaction metadata to disseminate partial models, and design a new proof-of-information algorithm to determine the order of the online learning process. We also discuss the benefits and potential issues of applying Blockchain technology to solve the privacy-preserving healthcare predictive modeling task and to increase interoperability between institutions, to support the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap and national healthcare delivery priorities such as Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR).