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Trends Biotechnol. 2003 Mar;21(3):113-6.

Biomedical databases: protecting privacy and promoting research.

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  • 1Utah Resource for Genetic and Epidemiologic Research, 30 North 1900 East, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84132-2116, USA.


When combined with medical information, large electronic databases of information that identify individuals provide superlative resources for genetic, epidemiology and other biomedical research. Such research resources increasingly need to balance the protection of privacy and confidentiality with the promotion of research. Models that do not allow the use of such individual-identifying information constrain research; models that involve commercial interests raise concerns about what type of access is acceptable. Researchers, individuals representing the public interest and those developing regulatory guidelines must be involved in an ongoing dialogue to identify practical models.

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