HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Software 'agents' could help unmask reality of disease clusters

Concerns over the privacy of patients could be hampering efforts to spot disease clusters and monitor the health effects of environmental pollution, according to researchers in the latest edition of the Journal of Biomedical Informatics.

Data made available to research groups investigating everything from cancer clusters to the risk of living near to hazardous waste sites is often restricted, altered or aggregated in order to protect the identity of individual patients.

But researchers say that these measures often make it impossible for them to carry out accurate geographical analyses of public health concerns, and may even result in misleading information being used in healthcare decisions.

They suggest that new technology which uses software "agents" to explore data could provide healthcare professionals with more accurate and meaningful information without risking patients' identities being revealed.

Agents are advanced software programmes that can be set a specific task but then given the autonomy to set goals and carry out the operations necessary to achieve them.

By constructing virtual institutions in which agents can act, collaborating organisations can make raw data available for research without compromising the security of the information.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that certain measures to protect individual privacy can destroy the information needed for geographical analyses, making it impossible to address many important public health concerns," said Dr Maged Boulos, from the School for Health at the University of Bath.

"Some of the solutions used to preserve confidentiality, such as centralising information to a single point in a town or aggregating data to cover the whole of an area, either lack the flexibility healthcare researchers need to get the information they need, or else actually obscure the results.

"This degrades the ability of public health researchers to iden
'"/>

Contact: Andrew McLaughlin
a.mclaughlin@bath.ac.uk
44-122-538-6883
University of Bath
7-Sep-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Software, evolution and micro-inversions -- improving the building of phylogenetic trees
2. Beyond the book: Software automates access to brain atlases
3. Software tool helps protect Nations drinking water: Now available in all 50 states
4. Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
5. New system of wastewater treatment could reduce the size of treatment plants by half
6. Discovery of new protein could provide new understanding of male fertility
7. Einstein researchers prototype vaccine could provide improved protection against tuberculosis
8. How a pain in the neck could be bad for your blood pressure
9. Synchrotron could help save the Tassie devil
10. Pets could be source of multiresistant bacteria infections in humans, MU researchers investigate
11. Fish eyes could hold clue to repairing damaged retinas in humans

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/6/2020)... , ... February 06, 2020 ... ... research organization (CRO) specializing in complex interventional medical device and pharmaceutical trials, ... Regulatory Strategy. In this newly established role, Dorothy oversees the development and ...
(Date:2/5/2020)... ... February 05, 2020 , ... LabKey has released Sample Manager, ... to sample processing within laboratories. , Built with input from a Product ... fields, LabKey Sample Manager has been designed with an intuitive user interface providing ...
(Date:1/29/2020)... ... January 29, 2020 , ... Jason Burke has joined CREO, ... providing consulting services for strategy, research and development and data governance to healthcare ... Managing Partner of CREO, an innovative management consulting and advisory firm based in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/27/2020)... , ... January 27, 2020 , ... ... it has secured financing from strategic investors led by Halma plc , ... existing investors Sonion, TDF Ventures, GII LLC, and WSJ Joshua Fund. A representative ...
(Date:1/22/2020)... ... January 20, 2020 , ... Brilliant, maker of ... the largest independent electronics distributor in the US, to make it easy for ... with leading smart home products from a single fulfillment partner. Ranging from entry-level ...
(Date:1/10/2020)... ... January 09, 2020 , ... ... services, today announced the acquisition of Cunesoft, a move that expands the company’s ... objectives of life sciences companies. , Based in Munich, Germany, Cunesoft provides intelligent ...
(Date:1/7/2020)... ... January 07, 2020 , ... Vuja De Sciences (“Vuja De”), ... recurrence, today announced the appointments of Chand Khanna, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Onc), and Dr. ... Vuja De said, “We are delighted to welcome Chand and Lee as new directors. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: