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Title: Investigating the migration of information systems to decentralised environments : a digital health use case
Authors: Bezzina, Karl (2020)
Keywords: Blockchains (Databases) -- Malta
Systems migration
Smart contracts -- Malta
Information retrieval -- Malta
Medical care -- Malta
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Bezzina, K. (2020). Investigating the migration of information systems to decentralised environments : a digital health use case (Master’s dissertation).
Abstract: As advancements are being made in technology through the introduction of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT), the general public is becoming more cautious with respect to how their data is being stored, who has access to their data, and whether they have any control over how their data is being processed. Regulations such as the General Data Processing Regulation (GDPR) have been introduced in Europe to provide the general public with a higher degree of control over their data. In the HealthCare industry this has become more of a serious concern as patients data is being transferred between healthcare representatives. As currently such data is being stored in centralised environments, it becomes more difficult for patients to have control over access and manipulation of their personal information. As an investigation in the migration of information systems, this dissertation will first discuss the effects of migrating information systems to decentralised environments by evaluating a system from a security, performance, and usability perspective. Subsequently, investigation shall also be performed from the perspective of data migration so that one can assess whether or not data can be migrated between both environments in a feasible time frame. The first part of the dissertation shall focus on the migration of information systems from centralised environments to decentralised. This will be made possible through the use of Blockchain and DLT. As a use case, a system was developed whose aim is to digitize prescriptions which are issued by doctors. The prescriptions would be stored in an encrypted format on a DLT platform in order for the patients to have full control over their data and provide permissions pertaining to the access of data to a pharmacy of their choice as they desire. In proposing a new system, it is vital to understand users’ perception of a new system, and therefore we undertake a survey with a number of software development experts to assess how a system architecture containing elements of centralised and decentralised nature would affect the overall performance, usability, and security of an application. When switching over to a new system, it is important to understand migration issues which could emerge when data needs to be migrated from centralised databases to Blockchain and DLT environments. The second part of this dissertation shall focus on the development and evaluation of a migration tool which was developed from scratch, and one which utilises database principles such as the Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) process. The migration tool developed for this dissertation shall be capable of migrating data from Relational (RDBMS) and NoSQL databases to a Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain. Through the migration tool the ETL process can be evaluated in order to assess how much time it takes to migrate data from centralised environments to one which is decentralised and vice versa, while taking into account the use of computer resources whilst the migration is being performed.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - CenDLT - 2020

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