Data increasingly empowers all modern research, and exploiting growing data sets allows for new methods and approaches in research and medicine. In the healthcare sector, this data is often personal health information, such as scans, test results, measurements, and even genetic information. The richness of this data can bring huge value to research, but its gathering, storage and use poses a number of concerns.
Such personal health data could have significant consequences if released or improperly accessed, both to the individual and to the organisations which did not secure it.
It is important that these risks can be managed, in order to minimise disruption on research, but equally importantly to ensure that sensitive data is correctly identified so that it can be appropriately handled. It can be difficult to maintain this balance, especially given the rapid pace of change in the data available, new analysis methods, new infrastructure, and new legislation.
BioMedIT and the Swiss Personalised Health Network (SPHN) help to address these challenges, providing not only funding and technical platforms, but knowledge and expertise to support safe, responsible use of personalised health data.