The Electronic Patient Health Record (EPHR), as the basis for future ehealthcare systems, suffers from public suspicion and doubt regarding its security and exploitation.
In this paper a mechanism permitting patient empowerment to increase public acceptance of the EPHR is introduced, which also has the benefits of making its use more secure. We argue that the use of steganography (information hiding) to embed distributed personal patient details within the patient’s medical data increases the personalised and participatory aspects. It also empowers the patient to have more control over the use of their own personal data. We discuss a hierarchical watermarking scheme for the embedding of multiple watermarks to provide different levels of security under patient control.