Anonymizing Healthcare Data: A Case Study on the Blood Transfusion Service

author: Noman Mohammed, Concordia University
published: Sept. 14, 2009,   recorded: June 2009,   views: 5226


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Sharing healthcare data has become a vital requirement in healthcare system management; however, inappropriate sharing and usage of healthcare data could threaten patients' privacy. In this paper, we study the privacy concerns of the blood transfusion information-sharing system between the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service (BTS) and public hospitals, and identify the major challenges that make traditional data anonymization methods not applicable. Furthermore, we propose a new privacy model called LKC-privacy, together with an anonymization algorithm, to meet the privacy and information requirements in this BTS case. Experiments on the real-life data demonstrate that our anonymization algorithm can effectively retain the essential information in anonymous data for data analysis and is scalable for anonymizing large datasets.

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