Syntegra Partners with Mirador Analytics to Certify Industry-Wide Privacy Metrics for Synthetic Data
SAN FRANCISCO, CA and WILMINGTON, DE, [Date TBD] – Today, Syntegra, a leader in synthetic healthcare data generation, and Mirador Analytics, the leading HIPAA expert determination provider, announced a partnership to certify Syntegra’s metrics for validating the privacy of synthetic data. This partnership is another step forward in both companies’ broader goal of enabling easier, faster and safer access to healthcare data to advance research efforts.
Syntegra is working with Mirador to review and certify Syntegra’s privacy techniques used to validate that their synthetic data fully protects patient privacy, ensuring no patient can be re-identified via the synthetic data. Once the project is complete later this year, the companies plan to publish materials that will support application and understanding of these privacy-preserving techniques for a wider audience to aid industry thought-leadership/guidelines.
Syntegra is leading the creation of privacy metrics for synthetic data, enabling synthetic healthcare data to be clearly assessed by any organization within a risk and privacy governance structure they already understand. Through this work, Syntegra and Mirador are paving the way for standard, industry-wide metrics to ensure patient privacy while enabling greater usage and value of healthcare data.
Maintaining patient privacy is paramount, but the industry must discover better ways of securely sharing and accessing patient data to advance the field of medicine, and synthetic data is an important mechanism to address this need. Rather than assuming synthetic data is inherently private simply because it’s synthetic, Syntegra is taking it a further step by partnering with Mirador to certify their metrics. This is particularly important when synthetic data is generated from actual health records.
“Any medical innovation requires evidence, and evidence requires data. To improve outcomes, it is imperative that we find new ways of leveraging healthcare data while protecting patient privacy,” said Michael D. Lesh, MD, founder and CEO of Syntegra. “We’re thrilled to partner with Mirador to help prove that Syntegra-generated synthetic data successfully prevents disclosure of patient information.”
"With the current industry focus on big data in healthcare, the amount of data created in the next three years is expected to be more than the data created over the past three decades. There’s always a residual risk to privacy in data, and with exponential growth expected, we must explore all techniques we have available to us to minimize risk while absorbing the utility. - Said Jamie Blackport, CEO and Founder of Mirador Analytics. "We're thrilled to work with Syntegra to help them define better industry-standards of synthetic data metrics we hope to be a game-changer in data privacy protection in the future."
Winners of COVID-19 Research Accelerator Grants Announced
Congratulations to the 15 winners of the first Research Accelerator grants, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation! We are very proud to support this initiative, and we look forward to seeing the research outputs.
The Accelerator Program has received hundreds of applications from every corner of the globe. The awardees will find evidence for policies that mitigate the effects of the current pandemic and strengthen future disaster preparedness. The projects will leverage the COVID-19 Research Database with more than 250 million unique patients and 85 billion records. The Database is the largest HIPAA-compliant, de-identified, and limited patient-level data sets of real-world data. Read more: Winners of COVID-19 Research Accelerator Grants Announced (globenewswire.com)
What They Didn’t Teach You About Expert Determination and HIPAA
Register for our upcoming free webinar with Datavant on HIPAA Expert Determination and learn how you can achieve high levels of privacy for individuals while maximizing data utility to allow for innovation, efficiency, and development in health care.
Date: 28 APR 2021, 1 PM EST
We will discuss why Expert Determination is a critical step in using and connecting health data, and we will provide you with an overview of common pitfalls and delays in joining de-identified data across organizations. Furthermore, we will give you some ideas on overcoming these issues and maximizing data utility under HIPAA regulation.
Join Datavant and Mirador to learn about:
Don’t miss the free webinar! There will be a live Q&A at the conclusion of the presentation.
The importance of data privacy, transparency, and outlining use case
In recent years, the increase in both the amount and accessibility of data has given us power that can be used for good. There’s an opportunity for increased innovation, more relevant products, and a more efficient world, among a whole host of other things.
But increased power can be exploited, data can be used to influence people’s decisions or used to influence levels of control over individuals, and that can be scary for some. It can cause frustration in others.
Highlighted by media outlets, we see cases of misuse and exploitation of data by organisations which can overshadow the good that others are working towards by taking advantage of our ever-increasing access to data.
So, what can we do to help highlight the good that can come from using data?
We can be transparent.
Transparency can mitigate against doubt, which mitigates against fear, which avoids anger and confusion. And if organisations are still seeing fear, confusion, or anger from those whose data they are using or holding, then they need to either provide more understanding, or if that’s not feasible, evaluate their processes and decide if they need to do things differently.
Sometimes following current rules and guidelines can fall short of the protection, transparency, and privacy people expect of their data.
Governments, regulatory bodies, and other groups implement standards for the protection of data, use of data, and transparency of any use. But as the pace of innovation and change continues to increase, it can leave their guidance falling behind, not keeping up with the latest technology and data uses.
Because of this, organisations at the forefront of their fields can often be left with rules and guidance that are not wholly appropriate, with some rules no longer seeming to apply directly to their processes.
So what should organisations be doing about it?
Organisations should be putting data privacy, protection, and appropriate use at the forefront of their values when handling individuals’ data. People within organisations should think about their data processes and consider if they’d feel comfortable with what they’re doing if it was their own personal data, but more than that they should make sure that others understand and are comfortable with what they are doing.
Where they can, organisations should follow existing guidelines, where existing guidelines don’t align, organisations should help in shaping suitable guidelines that focus on the protection of peoples data. They should work with regulatory bodies and data subjects to help them understand what they are doing and get them up to speed in a fast-paced space.
But I think most importantly where guidance isn’t in place, organisations need to be transparent both in the data they are handling and in how they plan to use it.
Having the attitude of transparency and making sure people are comfortable with what you are doing versus storming ahead in uncertainty helps to mitigate against misuse of data and what could be interpreted as exploitation of data by some.
With clearer use cases and data pathways we can help to protect individuals’ right to privacy while still having data that we can use to innovate and help people. With better privacy, protection, and transparency of data we build better relationships and more trust with individuals, the same individuals that we are using that data to support.
Author: Jamie Gray