There are many benefits to sharing health data—from reducing treatment costs to predicting outbreaks of epidemics to improving patients’ quality of life. But it needs to be done in such a way that patients’ privacy is protected.
Dr. Khaled El Emam, Canada Research Chair in Medical Artificial Intelligence, is developing a new method for synthesizing complex health data. He is working on an approach that would use artificial intelligence to extract information from databases that contain personal health information that cannot be shared easily because of privacy concerns. He and his research team are also evaluating data quality and privacy risks to improve generative algorithms and investigate high-impact applications of synthetic data. They hope to maximize the impact of their research by implementing governance mechanisms and engaging policy-makers and regulators.