Anonymisation on the edge
Within the scope of the MES-CoBraD project data represent the most important resource that must be carefully managed, secured and thanks to which is possible to discover patterns, insights and to provide new value to the end users through analytics. Preserving the patients’ privacy and defining an interoperable model to share data within the components of the platform are both “must-have” features that must coexist to exploit the full potential of the platform. Such features are granted by a securing data sharing mechanism that requires that all the data flowing within the platform must be de-personalised. Moreover, the secure data sharing provided by the integrated platform will further enable involved scientists in maximising their research impact and expertise sharing, reaching the global community.
The anonymisation module is the component responsible for anonymising patients’ personal data before to be submitted to the MES-CoBraD platform. It will be used by scientists and clinicians as a tool to prepare the patients’ data they collect (or produce) by running an anonymisation process on a hospital/clinic/laboratory local area network (LAN). The anonymisation will ensure to remove any patient-related information from the raw data (anonymisation phase) to avoid users’ identification in case of data leaks or undesired data access.
The anonymisation module is one of the plug-and-play plugins that can be installed on private LANs that could be made available by other scientists and developers. This will enable scenarios where the developer community can add new anonymisation algorithms, support for new data formats and protocols. Once anonymised the output data need to be verified by the submitter. After the final approval the data could be uploaded within the MES-CoBraD platform to be anonymously available to other end-users and other components of the platform.
Once uploaded within the platform data cannot be reconducted to a specific patient. Since the raw data is still available locally, the original submitters might want to access the sensitive information to update the file with a newer version or to simply check the patients’ health status. Only the authorised user(s) will be able to see raw data containing the sensitive information, making the whole system compliant with several security and privacy standards.
Authors: Antonino Sirchia - Danilo Trombino (Engineering Ingegneria Informatica spa), George Stravodimos (HOLISTIC)