A data network for health e-research
Sharing health data for research purposes across data custodian boundaries poses technical, organisational and ethical challenges. We describe a service oriented architecture for a proposed Health Research Data Network (HRDN). The HRDN architecture supports services to manage data access and use by researchers in accordance with individual data custodian policies. The capabilities of the HRDN architecture are described using a layered service model. The four abstract layers from lowest level to the highest level are 1) Preparing, 2) Storing, 3) Sharing and 4) Using. Two additional groups of services are interfaced with the services in each of the four layers. They are 1) Describing, with services for collecting and managing metadata, and 2) Protecting, with services for ensuring confidentiality and privacy protection, as well as services and tools implementing information security functions. In addition to these HRDN service groups, client-side applications are used by data custodians, service providers and researchers. Following a reference implementation of most services and the Researcher's Workbench, a commercial version of the software has been developed and is being trialled.
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