Studies and development of digital signature technologies by smart card on handheld devices
Danila Di Stasi - Politecnico di Bari - [2002-03]
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  • Tesi completa: 147 pagine
  • Abstract
    The main objective of the work of this thesis is to develop and implement the digital signature on handheld devices.

    The work has been performed at Nergàl s.r.l., a Company in Rome born in 1997 thanks to a group of university and INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) researchers, working in the field of Information and Communication Technology and High Performance Computer Architecture. Nergàl is specialized in realization and integration of systems for high Tech computing and offers High Technology services with specific competences in telecommunication, industry, mass media and the public administration.

    This work belong to a more complex project called “Mobi-Dev” to provide new generation mobile devices for healthcare professionals. Mobi-Dev engages some companies from different European States – Italy, England, Belgium, Spain and Greece – and one of these is Arakne s.r.l., a company shared by Nergàl. The whole work is divided into different modules, distributed among the companies involved in the project.

    The project’s objective is to ease and improve at many levels the daily routine work of health professionals mainly doctors, nurses, researchers, both inside and outside the premises of healthcare organizations, thanks to the integration of new technologies, including mobile communication devices, natural language understanding and electronic signature. Proper this feature of security aspects in Mobi-Dev is the intent of the thesis’s work.
    Medical staff performing daily ward rounds or visits to patients are usually far from a desktop PC connected to the Hospital Information System. So, doctors and nurses would need to memorize all patients' clinical information in order to update the HIS after completion of ward rounds. This result in time being wasted, and is very inefficient, such that medical staff often do not adopt a fluid workflow (i.e. current system are paper based, time consuming and not readily accessible).
    Doctors and nurses working with home patients have an even greater difficulty managing and accessing up to date information specific to the patient they are seeing, as currently it is impossible to access the HIS via a patient's home. This is a major factor for considering the adoption of a home hospitalization system.
    Another issue addressed by the project is the real-time secure management of data from different remote sources (i.e. from research projects, clinical trials, ability to pool and share in real time patients' information from various sources, e.g. clinical labs, general practitioners, other hospitals etc.).
    Mobi-Dev has the aim to provide the clinical staff with portable devices (based on palm PCs) wirelessly connected to different information databases, able to perform real time data management. Each palm PC is integrated with a microphone, a smart card reader, a Bluetooth transceiver and a UMTS one.

    To achieve the wanted upshot about the security in Mobi-Dev, this thesis has the aim to create on the user software interface the possibility of signing the prescriptions and the operations made by users during their daily work, by using digital signature.
    As first step to perform it has been to implement it on PC side, creating a software interface with an application of digital signature, where the user interface has to be as near as possible to the health professionals way of working, trying to obtain an example of pervasive computing where software is developed around user customs, and not vice versa.
    This one is a useful first result for two reason:
    1. It’s just a worthwhile solution to integrate digital signature in a hospital informatics structure.
    2. It’s obliged transition to perform it on PDA.
    In fact the thesis has mostly the purpose to consider the possibility to implement the digital signature directly on handheld device.
    So the second step is searching how carry out it on PDA and a actualized it.
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