In this project, we deal with the intricate issue of secure methods and infrastructures for sharing of healthcare data. Current medical records hold great opportunity for development of precision and stratified medicine by making them available for use in data-intensive experiments, but this potential is a long way from being realised. A key architectural problem remaining to be solved is how to maintain control of patient data within the governance of local data jurisdictions, while also allowing making the data available for experiments which, because of the need to scale to large population sizes, may require analyses across several jurisdictions.
The work we have done within the Data Safe Havens project provides a snapshot of architectural work underway to provide a clear, effective structure of data safe havens within jurisdictions. We investigate how formally specified experimental designs can be used to enable jurisdictions to work together on studies that no single jurisdiction could tackle alone. The architecture proposed allows different data sets to be derived from core NHS data, while establishing clear paths of data management responsibility. Our work relates to jurisdictions in Scotland and Italy, but our methods are applicable to other, similar jurisdictions.