Care.Chain is the latest iteration of blockchain technology, and it boasts enhanced security, scalability, and load-balancing features that are specifically designed to create a more resilient and business-focused platform.
In this segment of Care.Chain 101, we will explore zero-knowledge (ZK) technology and how it is instrumental in building a decentralized healthcare ecosystem.
Care.Chain employs zero-knowledge proof cryptography to ensure privacy, which surpasses existing regulatory requirements. As a result, it is uniquely positioned for adoption by healthcare and other enterprise companies.
ZK technology is a revolutionary approach to data privacy and security that has the potential to transform the healthcare industry. This technology is particularly important for Care.Chain, a layer-2 chain that underpins Solve.Care’s blockchain-based healthcare platform that aims to provide a secure and private way for patients, healthcare providers, and insurers to share healthcare data.
We launched Solve.Care’s Layer 2 EVM on March 30, if you would like to learn more check our recent announcement that has been making noise in the Web3 space.
One of ZK technology’s key benefits is its ability to ensure secure and private sharing of sensitive data without exposing the data itself. This is achieved through a process called zero-knowledge proof, where one party can prove to another party that they know a piece of information without actually revealing the information itself.
For example, a patient could prove to a healthcare provider that they have a certain medical condition without revealing any other personal information.
ZK technology can help to address some of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare industry today.
- Lack of interoperability: that exists between different healthcare systems and providers. With ZK technology, patient data can be securely and privately shared between different providers and systems without the need for a central authority to manage the data.
- Protecting patient privacy and security: Healthcare data is some of the most sensitive personal information that exists, and there are strict regulations in place to protect it. ZK technology provides a way to share this data securely and privately, while still complying with these regulations.
- Increase trust and transparency in healthcare: By providing a secure and private way to share data, patients and healthcare providers can work together more effectively to manage and improve health outcomes. This can lead to better overall health outcomes, reduced healthcare costs, and a more efficient healthcare system.
Before we go any further, let’s explore exactly what ZK proofs are and how they work.
ZK proofs are a type of cryptographic protocol that allows a prover to demonstrate the validity of a statement to a verifier without revealing any information about the statement beyond its truthfulness.
Zero-knowledge proofs first appeared in a 1985 paper, “The knowledge complexity of interactive proof systems,” which provides a definition of ZK proofs widely used today. A zero-knowledge protocol is a method by which one party (the prover) can prove to another party (the verifier) that something is true, without revealing any information apart from the fact that this specific statement is true.
The use of zero-knowledge proofs represents a breakthrough in applied cryptography.
Traditional methods of proving claims require providing evidence to back up a claim. However, this approach lacks privacy as personally identifiable information shared with third-party services is stored in central databases, which are vulnerable to hacks.
Just a couple of months ago, AT&T started notifying roughly 9 million customers that some of their information was exposed after a marketing vendor was hacked in January.
Identity theft is becoming a critical issue, there are calls for more privacy-protecting means of sharing sensitive information. ZK proofs solve this problem by eliminating the need to reveal information to prove the validity of its claims.
The zero-knowledge protocol uses the statement (called a ‘witness’) as input to generate proof of its validity. This proof provides strong guarantees that a statement is true without exposing the information used in creating it.
In basic form, a ZK proof is made up of three elements: witness, challenge, and response.
- Witness: With zero-knowledge proof, the prover wants to prove knowledge of some hidden information. The secret information is the “witness” to the proof, and the prover’s assumed knowledge of the witness establishes a set of questions that can only be answered by a party with knowledge of the information. Thus, the prover starts the proving process by randomly choosing a question, calculating the answer, and sending it to the verifier.
- Challenge: The verifier randomly picks another question from the set and asks the prover to answer it.
- Response: The prover accepts the question, calculates the answer, and returns it to the verifier. The prover’s response allows the verifier to check if the former really has access to the witness. To ensure the prover isn’t guessing blindly and getting the correct answers by chance, the verifier picks more questions to ask. By repeating this interaction, the validity of the information is thus verified.
Zero-knowledge technology is what makes decentralized healthcare possible, and we are leveraging its potential to the fullest. It provides many use cases for the healthcare industry. It is one of the most heavily regulated industries globally. As such, there is a need to protect patient privacy and ensure that sensitive data is secure from unauthorized access.
Zero-knowledge technology offers a way to ensure that patient data remains private while still allowing healthcare providers access to the information they need to offer quality healthcare services.
In many cases, patients are referred to specialists for treatment or diagnostic tests. These specialists often need access to the patient’s medical history and diagnostic reports to provide effective treatment.
- With ZK, patients can grant access to their medical records without revealing any personally identifiable information. This ensures that patient data remains private while still allowing healthcare providers access to the information they need.
Clinical trials are essential in testing the effectiveness and safety of new medical treatments. However, the data collected during clinical trials is often sensitive and needs to be kept confidential.
- ZK technology can be used to ensure that the data collected during clinical trials remains private while still allowing researchers to analyze the data and draw conclusions.
Zero-knowledge proofs are an essential tool in ensuring the security and privacy of sensitive information.
- With ZK, individuals can prove the validity of a statement without revealing the statement’s contents, ensuring that sensitive information remains private.
ZK technology offers a way to enhance security in industries where privacy is of the utmost importance. As such, it is no surprise that zero-knowledge proofs are gaining popularity and are being used in several real-world applications.
It represents an exciting development in applied cryptography, providing a way to prove the validity of a statement without revealing the statement itself. They offer significant privacy benefits over traditional methods of sharing sensitive information, such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) stored in centralized databases.
By incorporating zero-knowledge proof cryptography, Care.Chain guarantees privacy and security at the protocol layer, making Care.Platform ready for adoption by healthcare and other enterprise companies.
For Care.Chain, this technology is essential to achieving its goal of providing a secure and private way for patients, healthcare providers, and insurers to share healthcare data.
As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, ZK technology will play an increasingly important role in shaping its future.