How does Harmony ensure data quality, safety and privacy?
The Harmony Alliance has put together data handling procedures to ensure the maximum protection of the patient's privacy while leaving the data rich enough for it to be analysed.
Several boxes must be checked before a data record may enter the Harmony Data Platform the data is
- carefully checked for completeness and correctness
- "harmonized", i.e. given the same format as the other data contained in the Big Data Platform
- edited so that it would require an unreasonable amount of effort to identify the patient who is the source of the data
This process complies with ethical guidelines and European data protection laws.
Once the anonymized data record is in the Harmony Big Data Platform, it is protected from unauthorized access through technical and organizational measures. A researcher, for instance, will only get access to those data elements that are essential to answer his or her specific research question.