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Empowering Healthcare Breakthroughs: Unleashing the Potential of Health Data Safely

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

DPella and Gemelli Generator Real Word Data Lab: Breaking Barriers to Unleash the Potential of Secondary Health Data Use


To make big strides in healthcare, we need to look closely at a lot of information to find patterns and insights. However, the challenge is twofold – not only must this data be carefully aggregated and analyzed, but it must also be shared in a way that respects privacy. Health data, laden with sensitivity, often faces the constraint of staying within the confines of hospital premises, creating a barrier to extensive research.


Gemelli Generator Real Word Data Lab is a research division within the University Policlinic Agostino Gemelli. They work with secondary use of health data doing statistics, machine learning and AI on hospital data. Their primary goal is to decipher disease patterns, identify potential risk factors, and spearhead the development of novel treatments.


However, traditional data processing within hospital walls has limitations. The inability to share data beyond the analytics team and the absence of safeguards against identifying individual patients hinder the research process. This is where WebDP API, an open-source system designed to interface with various Differential Privacy (DP) tools, steps in as an enabler to sharing data insights.


DPella WebDP: Revolutionizing Data Privacy in Healthcare


WebDP is an API that aims to standardize the usage of Differential Privacy by providing an interface with explicit data governance features and capabilities to do analytics with various Differential Privacy engines, whether licensed or open source. Not only does WebDP handle user roles such as data owners and data analysts, privacy budget and user abuse prevention methods, but it also allows data scientists without much knowledge of Differential Privacy to use a state-of-the-art technology.


With WebDP, Gemelli Lab seamlessly applies DP technology to their queries, instilling the necessary privacy features for the scalability of their health data projects. According to Gemelli Generator Lab, the advantages of employing differential privacy in health data are profound:

Safe Post-Processing: DP allows for the repeated computation of analytics results without compromising data control.

Resilience to Reconstruction Attacks: Data remains unreconstructable, adding an extra layer of security.

Patient-Level Privacy Protection: DPella WebDP ensures that even if a query result involves a single or a reduced set of patients, injected noise becomes a protective shield against privacy breaches.

Budget Control: Gemelli Lab can execute analyses within a defined dataset without worrying about data leakage, thanks to DPella WebDP's budget control mechanism.


Benefits are so many, and the solution is so easily adaptable that we are considering already starting a collaboration beyond the TERMINET project”, says Andrea Damiani, the leader of the Gemelli Generator Lab


In conclusion, the integration of WebDP and DP technology not only addresses the challenges of privacy in health data utilization but also opens the door to a new era of collaborative research, fostering innovation and progress in healthcare.



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