Different from conventional online goods purchases, healthcare commerce, such as purchasing prescription drugs, involves transaction steps of insurance coverage inquiries which are required to determine insurance coverage and payments. Without efficient processing of online insurance coverage inquiries, the online healthcare commerce cannot be carried out successfully. This work proposes a novel secure healthcare commerce protocol that incorporates the insurance coverage inquiries into the transaction steps of online purchases. The proposed protocol is designed based on the Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) and healthcare Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Efficient ASC X12N interactive EDI messages are adopted to facilitate online real-time interactions of insurance coverage inquiries. The results have shown that the process of healthcare commerce is streamlined by integrating secure online purchases and online EDI interactions.
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