Why health data should be protected and how?
In recent years, the topic of health data has been on the rise. There are many potential applications for this information, but there is also great concern about who can access it. Health data is highly sensitive information that should be protected from misuse.
In order to make sure that your personal health data only remains available to those who need it, we have developed an anonymization platform that protects your privacy and enables hospitals, medical professionals, or researchers to share the data securely while still protecting identities, sensitive data, and personal information.
Processing and managing sensitive health data requires a high standard of security and privacy measures to ensure that all ethical and legal requirements are respected. Data anonymization is one of the key technologies for this purpose.
We have developed a tool for anonymizing health data, making it easier to ensure patient privacy: ShareMedix
ShareMedix allows you to anonymize any kind of Health Record (PHI) and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) according to the standards set by GDPR and HIPAA, and other regulations.
GDPR, for example, applies to all health data collected, stored, or processed in any shape or form – regardless of where it comes from—and this applies whether you’re collecting your own data or if someone else has collected it for you. In other words: if someone has obtained your consent to use their services then they are responsible for making sure that all regulations are followed.
Our platform is a secure and easy-to-use Healthcare Provider Platform that has been built to protect patient’s privacy. We have taken all the necessary steps to make it easier for you to comply with HIPAA, GDPR, and other privacy regulations.
We understand the importance of data protection, and we are always looking for ways to improve our technology. Our goal is to provide a secure solution that will help medical providers, organizations, universities, and researchers focus on what they do best instead of worrying about legal compliance.
What is anonymization exactly?
First, let’s define anonymization:
Anonymization is a process that involves removing any personal information from the data. This means that it cannot be traced back to a specific person.
For example, if you have a dataset of some people’s names and ages, then you can anonymize this by replacing their names with numbers or letters (e.g., 1, 2, 3) or by just blackening them, assuming that there is no other information which would allow identifying this person.
GDPR and the future of health data in Europe
The General Data Protection Regulation or “GDPR” is a European regulation that applies to personal data. Personal data is any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (i.e., a living, real human being). This could include your name, email address, and location details.
De-identification and anonymization techniques
There are many ways to anonymize data, and the most appropriate technique depends on the type of data and the purpose for which it is being used. One common anonymization technique is to remove names and other identifying information from data sets. There are many techniques, and the best approach depends on the situation. In some cases, it may be necessary to use multiple techniques in order to fully protect the privacy of individuals.
Here are some common ways to de-identify and anonymize data:
This method involves permuting (or randomizing) the values in your dataset to ensure that each record is unique. For example, if you were working with a patient’s zip code, you would randomly shuffle all the possible zip codes into a list so that the original data could not be matched back up with the new randomized version.
This method involves replacing specific details with a mask representing the detected information type – such as PERSON, ADDRESS, or SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. This method allows for keeping the context of the document while hiding sensitive information about individuals.
This method can also be used with replacing original personal information with synthetic information which looks like the original, such as using John Doe instead of the original name or replacing the detected information with special marks such as ***** or placing a black rectangle instead.
Personal information is not only included in text data. A popular method used for the de-identification of images and videos is blurring. The method relies on detecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as faces, whole silhouettes, car number plates, and other sensitive information and applying special algorithms which make the detected area unrecognizable. While using this method, it’s important to use a strong algorithm, which doesn’t allow for reversing the blur to the original data, which is the case in many popular implementations.
This approach involves removing any personally identifiable information from your dataset entirely in order to protect individuals’ identities from being compromised. It can be used either in the form of deleting the whole column including personal information, such as names, in the structured data, or deleting the detected information instead of masking them.
It’s not an anonymization technique itself but is an important and almost obligatory data protection form nowadays. Encryption can be used to protect data from unauthorized access, and the use of cryptographic techniques applies to all situations in which the data can be used. This includes storing the data on servers and in databases, sending the data between different parties but also between different services using the data, and even using encryption during the processing of the data.
Example for research data:
Your research data can be published in e.g. scientific journals while still protecting your privacy.
If a data set contains information about someone’s medical history, but without any identifying information (such as name or address), then it’s possible for that person’s privacy to be protected while still providing researchers with valuable insights into how modern medicine is working.
This is important because medical research often relies on anonymized patient records and other types of health data that were collected by hospitals and clinics around the world. In fact, this kind of research has led to many breakthroughs in our understanding of human health and disease over time—and it continues today!
However, publishing such data sets isn’t always straightforward: there are some limitations on what kinds of studies can be conducted due to legal requirements surrounding confidentiality and anonymity within clinical trials or other types of studies involving human subjects.
For example: often, medical institutions need special permissions from individuals before they can share their details publicly (or even privately). This means that scientists must obtain explicit consent from each individual participant involved before sharing any personal details about them publicly; otherwise, those people could potentially sue later down the line if something goes wrong during participation.
The right tool for anonymizing and sharing health data
With ShareMedix you can quickly de-identify and anonymize your medical or sensitive data and share it with colleagues and patients.
For Hospitals, Medical Facilities:
- Data leaves the hospital or organization only anonymized and controlled
- Conduct innovative projects, research grants and cooperate with other partners
- Free yourself from sending CDs and USB sticks
- Have full control over your data
For Research Institutes and Universities:
- Secondary use of data – reuse anonymized data for the next research without organizational effort
- Easily share anonymized data with other project partners in grant projects
- Prepare your data for further analysis
For Data Protection Officers and Administrators:
- Fulfill data subject requests while keeping the privacy of others
- Quickly prepare data for third-party requests (e.g., police, insurance)
- Meet the demands of data privacy regulations
- Save time by immediately sharing data
- Minimize the risk of high fines and other financial penalties
- Create trust by setting a secure standard of data sharing in your hospital
- Make compliance easy with GDPR, HIPAA, and others for your Data Protection Officer
- Save money on manual anonymization by automating the processes in your hospital
Start sharing medical data the right way
If you want to learn more about our solution that automates the anonymization process and makes it compliant and easy for you to share sensitive data, feel free to contact us. Or visit our FAQ section.
ShareMedix by theBlue.ai
In addition to solutions such as ShareMedix, we offer extensive expertise in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning and are committed to the success of your projects with our proven and world-class team.