Keeping health records safe and secure

Close up of a series of colour-coded files. A file labeled “09” is visible, sticking out slightly from the rest.

Keeping health records safe and secure

A successful University of Ottawa spin-off provides software to help healthcare organizations keep their records in order
January 28, 2015

Electronic information records have become an important tool for healthcare organizations around the world. According to a report put out by a market research firm, the global electronic health records market will be worth more than $22 billion by the end of 2015. Khaled El Emam, Canada Research Chair in Electronic Health Information at the University of Ottawa, created a company in 2007 to leverage the value of information held in these records.

Privacy Analytics Inc. provides software that masks and de-identifies personal information to share for secondary purposes while respecting strict privacy regulations. It employs 40 people and serves more than 80 clients in North America and Europe. The company developed out of El Emam’s Electronic Health Information Laboratory (EHIL), which is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Among other things, sharing health data can help to advance medical research and to track and contain outbreaks such as the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.