Main Article Content
Advances in computing and communication technologies have provided new methods to store and access medical data electronically and distribute them over open communication networks. Today, patients themselves can access their medical information themselves and medical information can be transmitted among medical institutions as well as stakeholders in the health sector. Accompanying these benefits are concomitant risks for patient medical records in electronic formats and strictly personal medical documentations being transmitted and accessible over open communication channels such as the Internet. Thus it is common knowledge that there should be in place network-level security measures and protocols in medical information systems. Many security schemes that were based on cryptography, watermarking and steganography have been proposed and implemented to secure medical data. However, an apt review of relevant literature revealed that in many implementations robustness against attacks is not guaranteed. Issues bordering on low embedding capacity, low robustness, low imperceptibility and bad trade tradeoff between robustness and capacity are evident in many implementations. In this paper, a hybrid Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) algorithm, Rivest Cipher 4 (RC4) algorithm and Spread Spectrum techniques were proposed for securing medical image data over open communication networks. The performance of the proposed scheme was evaluated using Peak Signal to Noise Ratio (PSNR), Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), Mean Square Error (MSE) and Bit Error Rate (BER). For the five sample medical images used to test the scheme, the BER value is zero while the PNSR and SNR are consistent and they returned desirable high values. The MSE values for the images were low. The average values of the PSNR, SNR and MSE are 51.88 dB, 43.38 dB and 0.113 respectively. Hence, the proposed scheme is utterly revertible, robust and highly imperceptible; the original images can be retrieved by the recipient without any deformation or alteration.
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