Privacy Analytics Teams with CancerLinQ LLC to De-Identify Cancer Patient Data

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De-identification of EHR data will help give oncologists critical access to usable, searchable real-world cancer information while protecting patient privacy

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By creating high value datasets, greater analytics and insights will help improve cancer treatment. For all those who care about cancer and its treatment, this is an exciting development that can have a real impact.

Privacy Analytics Inc. ( - the leading provider of software that safeguards and enables personal health data for secondary purposes - announced today that the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) CancerLinQ™ initiative will use Privacy Analytics’ software and expertise to de-identify cancer patient data so that it can be accessed and analyzed to advance cancer treatment and care. Privacy Analytics will work with CancerLinQ LLC, ASCO’s wholly owned non-profit subsidiary, on this effort.

According to the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute, 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer this year. However, data has typically only been more readily available for the three percent of this population who participate in clinical trials. Data on the remaining 97% of cancer patients resides in electronic health records (EHRs) in unconnected data centers and servers, preventing it from being aggregated and analyzed.

Access to this data can produce new knowledge and insights that can improve treatment and outcomes, uncover previously unseen patterns, and provide real-time quality feedback to providers that allow physicians to compare their actual care against guidelines and with their peers.

In addition to allowing a participating practice to view identifiable data on its own patients, CancerLinQ will de-identify EHR data on a large number of cancer patients to protect patient privacy and comply with HIPAA requirements governing the use and sharing of Protected Health Information (PHI). To achieve this, Privacy Analytics is providing CancerLinQ with software and training that will allow CancerLinQ to responsibly de-identify patient data through a proven, risk-based methodology. This approach allows CancerLinQ to provide high quality, high value data reports to oncologists that can be customized for each specific use case and objective while protecting patient privacy.

“Our software and training will allow health care providers to access critical patient data from electronic health records that they would not have historically been able to access and analyze through traditional methods,” said Dr. Khaled El Emam, Founder and CEO of Privacy Analytics. “By creating high value datasets, greater analytics and insights will greatly help improve cancer treatment. For all those who care about cancer and its treatment, this is an exciting development that can have a real impact.”

Through the use of Privacy Analytics’ de-identification expertise and software, CancerLinQ will be able to unlock cancer patient EHR data to powerfully connect and analyze real-world cancer care data to improve the quality and value of care for all. With CancerLinQ, a physician will be able to search through de-identified data on similar patients to determine how others have responded to the planned treatment.

In other cases, this data and analytics can help inform the patient’s treatment decision when medical literature is not yet available. Oncologists can also benchmark their adherence to practice guidelines compared to other health care organizations in order to improve quality of care. In these ways, participating oncology sites will become part of a large scale learning health system.

For more information about CancerLinQ, please go to:


About Privacy Analytics:

Privacy Analytics ( allows healthcare organizations to quickly and easily apply a responsible de-identification methodology that ensures individual privacy and legal compliance. Privacy Analytics is the only company to offer expert training, software, peer-reviewed methodology and valued-added services that protect the privacy of individuals while allowing organizations to share data for secondary purposes. Privacy Analytics customers represent half of Fortune 50 healthcare companies. Privacy Analytics’ software is compliant with regulations and globally accepted standards and guidelines, including those from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST), PhUSE, the Council of Canadian Academies, as well as HIPAA and the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC.

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Kevin Gould

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