Addressing Biomedical Data Privacy and Forensics in Smart Habitats for the elderly

Author: Prof Hugo Plácido da Silva STSM Period: 2019-06-02 – 2019-06-07

ECI: Yes

Hosting institution:Univerzitet Singidunum

From ITC: Yes



In the scope of this STSM, the purpose was to perform preliminary work with the host institution to study the topic of digital forensics and privacy in biomedical data. The local experts, in particular Prof. Aleksandar Jevremović has developed his career in the field of information security and forensics; the visiting expert, Prof. Hugo Plácido da Silva has developed his career in the field of biomedical system engineering. Therefore, the research stay intended scientific exchange between the local experts in what concerns digital forensics and privacy, and the visiting expert in what concerns biomedical data acquisition, processing and analysis.


During the STSM Prof. Aleksandar Jevremović, his co-workers and myself worked on multiple aspects of biomedical data acquisition, processing and analysis, ranging from the hardware to the software. We focused on low-cost and open source supporting tools for biomedical data acquisition originally developed at my group, and artificial intelligence techniques used by Prof. Jevremović, which can be used to automatically analyze the collected data.

One of the methods we have identified is Electrocardiography (ECG) signals measured in an “off-the-person” approach, due to their threefold informative content for health, emotion, and identity recognition. I presented examples of previous research developed around these topics, applicable to the furniture sector and to improve the accessibility of the built environment for the elderly by integrating ICT solutions, ergonomic design, and taking into account the health needs of the elderly. Datasets obtained from previous experiments were shared with Prof. Jevremović and his co-workers, which have started to analyze them during the course of the stay.

Another component of this short-term scientific mission was to analyze the potentials of using artificial intelligence methods for information security and forensics based on biosignals. Due to a pressing need for efficient and secure distributed data acquisition, cloud-based storage, organization, and sharing, we also discussed a possible collaboration towards the development of a data acquisition service benefitting from the previous experience by Prof. Jevremović. The research stay also included three seminars and workshops offered by Prof. Jevremović and myself to further reinforce and explore the aforementioned topics. Four work meetings were also held to set the foundations for future technical contributions, and interaction with other local experts for in-depth learning of the methods currently being developed.


I learned the theoretical and practical methods already adopted by the team of Prof. Jevremović, and shared my research. Extensive training has been provided on the use of low-cost, general-purpose open source equipment for rapid prototyping and acquisition of biomedical data, developed by my team. These tools were determined as particularly sutable to support the development of future collaborations. We have analysed the requirements and drafted a preliminary architecture for what It may become a software tool to support efficient and secure distributed data acquisition, cloud-based storage, organization, and sharing. We reviewed multiple application areas, with promising local contacts in the area of sports sciences and human kinetics. We also discussed the possibility to use A.I. methods in the analysis of biomedical data for the purpose of digital forensics and privacy. The idea is to develop further work on this findings, and to publish the results in a relevant journal, e.g. IEEE Access.


As a result of the STSM we expect and plan to have an intensive collaboration in future. We discussed the possibility to co-supervise students at both institutions to develop their MSc or PhD thesis in strategic topics align ith the work carried out. A visit of Prof. Jevremović to Portugal is scheduled for later this year. As a result from the activities, we expect to start developing joint work in the topic of human kinetic involving Prof. Jevremović, myself, and colleagues from the sports science school. There is also the goal to equip Univerzitet Singidunum with lab resources to support the development of projects in the interface between computer sciences and human-computer interaction and biomedical sensing.

Leave a comment