UK: NHS research system could breach patient confidentiality

The same issues raised in the U.S. about meaningful use, anonymization and the risk of identification are being raised in the UK, it seems. Kathleen Hall reports:

Medical experts have hit out against an NHS computer system which gives researchers access to patient information without their consent.

The Secondary Uses Service (SUS) system gives commercial and academic researchers access to patient information which is ‘anonymised’.

But in a letter to the British Medical Journal, Dr Ian Brown of the Oxford Internet Institute said patients were being misled about the level of anonymisation of their data and the likelihood of re-identification.

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