A hybrid cloud model for secure record linkage of large health datasets (Preprint)

Adrian P Brown, Sean M Randall
2020 JMIR Medical Informatics  
The linking of administrative data across agencies provides the capability to investigate many health and social issues with the potential to deliver significant public benefit. Despite its advantages, the use of cloud computing resources for linkage purposes is scarce, with the storage of identifiable information on cloud infrastructure assessed as high risk by data custodians. This study aims to present a model for record linkage that utilizes cloud computing capabilities while assuring
more » ... ians that identifiable data sets remain secure and local. A new hybrid cloud model was developed, including privacy-preserving record linkage techniques and container-based batch processing. An evaluation of this model was conducted with a prototype implementation using large synthetic data sets representative of administrative health data. The cloud model kept identifiers on premises and uses privacy-preserved identifiers to run all linkage computations on cloud infrastructure. Our prototype used a managed container cluster in Amazon Web Services to distribute the computation using existing linkage software. Although the cost of computation was relatively low, the use of existing software resulted in an overhead of processing of 35.7% (149/417 min execution time). The result of our experimental evaluation shows the operational feasibility of such a model and the exciting opportunities for advancing the analysis of linkage outputs.
doi:10.2196/18920 pmid:32965236 fatcat:ph7nfxyx5fdhve6rlxt5whocvi