Aston University is to launch a three and a half year Europe-wide research project to exploring the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve sharing health data internationally.
Research lead Dr Sergei Sokolovski of the university’s Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies has been awarded €317,500 to work on the project.
The BETTER (Better real-world health data distributed analytics research platform) will span 16 academic, medical and industrial partners.
While data-driven medicine is currently used to improve diagnosis, treatment and medical research ethical, legal and privacy issues can prevent sharing and centralising data for analysis.
The project aims to overcome these challenges so health data can be shared across national borders while fully complying with the general data protection regulation (GDPR) guidelines.
Sokolovski will lead the development of a secure data sharing system which will allow access to large sets of multi-source health data via tailor-made AI tools.
Scientists and healthcare professionals will be able to compare, integrate and analyse data securely at a lower cost than current methods to improve people’s health.
The project focus on three health conditions; childhood learning disabilities, inherited degenerative retina diseases and autism, involving seven medical centres across the European Union and beyond.
Sokolovski said: “Data protection regulations prohibit data centralisation for analysis purposes because of privacy risks like the accidental disclosure of personal data to third parties.
“Therefore, to enable health data sharing across national borders and to fully comply with GDPR guidelines this project proposes a robust decentralised infrastructure which will empower researchers, innovators and healthcare professionals to exploit the full potential of larger sets of multi-source health data,” he continued.
“As healthcare continues to evolve in an increasingly data-driven world projects like BETTER offer promising solutions to the challenges of health data sharing, research collaboration, and ultimately, improving the well-being of citizens worldwide.
“The collaboration between multiple stakeholders, including medical centres, researchers, and innovators, highlights the importance of interdisciplinary efforts in addressing these complex issues.”