http://www.information-age.com/channels ... data.thtmlNHS pilot may allow drugmakers to analyse patient data
28 February 2012 Hal HodsonAn NHS Trust in Southampton is trialling a new analytics service that could open the door for pharmaceutical companies to analyse patient data.
The pilot is the first of its kind since prime minister David Cameron announced a plan to encourage data sharing between the NHS and the biomedical industry in December last year. "We're going to consult on actually changing the NHS constitution so that the default setting is for patient's data to be used for research, unless of course, they want to opt out," Cameron said at the time.
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust is trialling a new service from iSoft, the healthcare software vendor acquired by IT services giant CSC last year.
The Trust will be able to use a clinical data mining application called AccelFind (made by a company called CliniWorks, not iSoft itself) free of charge, in return for performing analyses on behalf of biomedical companies. The plan is that biomedical companies will approach iSoft with analyses they would like to perform on patient data, and the Trust will run queries on its records.
When Cameron announced his plan to allow anonymised NHS data to be used in commercial research, privacy experts warned that this data could easily be de-anonymised. "A small amount of contextual information can ruin anonymisation," warned Cambridge information security professor Ross Anderson.