The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), in partnership with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) and the Departments of Surgery and Medicine at McGill University, has signed an agreement with MDClone to foster innovation and collaboration in health sciences research through the use of synthetic data. After a short training course, members of the RI-MUHC and McGill community will be able to easily access data sets from over three million adult and pediatric patients from Israel, for research purposes.
The MDClone platform creates synthetic data and makes it easily accessible for research. Synthetic data are generated by a computer algorithm so that they replicate the statistical characteristics and correlations of real-world, raw data, but they do not describe real people. In this way, synthetic data are intended to maintain patient privacy while maximizing utility.
“This partnership will encourage collaboration and innovation by empowering our research teams to access the patient data they need to implement real change. Using synthetic data ensures that patient privacy is protected and removes barriers, providing our researchers with instant access to health data that they can explore dynamically,” says Jake Barralet, PhD, Scientific Director of the Clinical Innovation Platform at the RI-MUHC and Director of Innovation at the FMHS.
With anonymized data or de-identified data, it may be possible, in certain cases, to triangulate and ultimately identify an individual by inferring characteristics or cross-referencing with other data. In contrast, it is much harder to re-identify individuals using the synthetic data generated by MDClone.
“The MDClone platform enables rapid front-line hypotheses testing, allowing users to safely and securely access and share information across both internal and external entities. This partnership involves a real-world test of these capabilities using patient data from over three million patients at the Sheba Medical Centre in Israel. The platform includes data from ER and ambulatory visits, admissions, procedures, diagnosis, lab results, pathology, imaging, medications and more,” explains Kevin Gibson, Director of Global Partnerships at MDClone.
There are a limited number of access keys available for active students, researchers, faculty and clinicians in the McGill community. You are welcome to sign up for the forthcoming training to access the MDClone platform and must be willing to provide feedback. This opportunity is open to members of all disciplines, but priority will be given to members of the RI-MUHC and McGill FMHS.
If you would like to be considered for training and access, please submit this online form outlining the kinds of cohorts you are interested in and the anticipated use.
Should you have questions, you are invited to send an email to Clip.email@example.com.