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TEHDAS consults stakeholders on their expectations for safe use of health data

The European health data space (EHDS) should facilitate the efficient use of health data for secondary use while ensuring high-level protection of personal data. TEHDAS conducted series of workshops with stakeholders to find out about their expectations for safe data transfer and analysis.

A recent report by the joint action Towards the European Health Data Space (TEHDAS) presents a summary of stakeholder expectations and conclusions from a series of workshops on the EHDS’ technical architecture. Based on the workshops, TEHDAS has identified three policy scenarios for accessing data. In the most limited scenario data is not transferred from its original register, but in the other two scenarios data can be transferred to a processing environment in one’s own country or to another country.

The report also identifies privacy preserving technologies for data analysis to minimise the risks of personal data exposure. Although cross-border transfers of sensitive data are an option, the EHDS architecture should encourage the principle of bringing questions to data instead of moving data. This challenges all EHDS actors to explore new technologies.

The recently published EHDS legislative proposal underlines the role of the secure processing environment (SPE), where data processing takes place after a data permit has been granted, as a key element of the EHDS architecture.

It will be essential to define a common approach and requirements for SPE’s to build trust for cross-border data use. Previously, TEHDAS has outlined the basic functionality of an SPE. In-depth SPE guidelines will be developed during the remainder of the project and will be published by the end of 2022.

The architecture options have been addressed in the TEHDAS WP7 advisory board workshops involving about 40 experts from across Europe.

This report summarises the results of three latest workshops organised between December 2021 and May 2022.

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