Anomymization for Research Purposes

  • It is also called deidentification and as the term suggests consist of removing all identifiable features and in dermatology this would consist of:
    • removing names and other upstream data and links to the electronic medical records (EMRs).
    • changing image features.
    • deidentifying links between different datasets for a given individual.
  • However it is sometimes possible to identify a person with seemingly anonymous data. especially if the individual is famous:
    • examples include radiology CT scans, encrypted medical data with subsequent identification by cross-checking with public records, and in Dermatology pictures where identifying features (eyes, nose) have been modified or deformed.

Reference: Big Data: A very short introduction by Dawn E. Holmes. Oxford University Press, 2017


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