GEN-RWD Sandbox: Bridging the Gap Between Hospital Data Privacy and External Research Insights with Distributed Analytics

Benedetta Gottardelli, Roberto Gatta, Leonardo Nucciarelli, Andrada Mihaela Tudor, Erica Tavazzi, Mauro Vallati, Stefania Orini, Nicoletta Di Giorgi, Andrea Damiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a pivotal tool in advancing contemporary personalised medicine, with the goal of tailoring treatments to individual patient conditions. This has heightened the demand for access to diverse data from clinical practice and daily life for research, posing challenges due to the sensitive nature of medical information, including genetics and health conditions. Regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the U.S. and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe aim to strike a balance between data security, privacy, and the imperative for access.
Results: We present the Gemelli Generator - Real World Data (GEN-RWD) Sandbox, a modular multi-agent platform designed for distributed analytics in healthcare. Its primary objective is to empower external researchers to leverage hospital data while upholding privacy and ownership, obviating the need for direct data sharing. Docker compatibility adds an extra layer of flexibility, and scalability is assured through modular design, facilitating combinations of Proxy and Processor modules with various graphical interfaces. Security and reliability are reinforced through components like Identity and Access Management (IAM) agent, and a Blockchain-based notarisation module. Certification processes verify the identities of information senders and receivers.
Conclusions: The GEN-RWD Sandbox architecture achieves a good level of usability while ensuring a blend of flexibility, scalability, and security. Featuring a user-friendly graphical interface catering to diverse technical expertise, its external accessibility enables personnel outside the hospital to use the platform. Overall, the GEN-RWD Sandbox emerges as a comprehensive solution for healthcare distributed analytics, maintaining a delicate equilibrium between accessibility, scalability, and security
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 May 2024

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