SPHN - The BioMedIT Network: A Secure IT Platform for Research with Sensitive Human Data

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2020 Jun 16;270:1170-1174. doi: 10.3233/SHTI200348.


The BioMedIT project is funded by the Swiss government as an integral part of the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN), aiming to provide researchers with access to a secure, powerful and versatile IT infrastructure for doing data-driven research on sensitive biomedical data while ensuring data privacy protection. The BioMedIT network gives researchers the ability to securely transfer, store, manage and process sensitive research data. The underlying BioMedIT nodes provide compute and storage capacity that can be used locally or through a federated environment. The network operates under a common Information Security Policy using state-of-the-art security techniques. It utilizes cloud computing, virtualization, compute accelerators (GPUs), big data storage as well as federation technologies to lower computational boundaries for researchers and to guarantee that sensitive data can be processed in a secure and lawful way. Building on existing expertise and research infrastructure at the partnering Swiss institutions, the BioMedIT network establishes a competitive Swiss private-cloud - a secure national infrastructure resource that can be used by researchers of Swiss universities, hospitals and other research institutions.

Keywords: Personalized health; SPHN; confidential data; data privacy; data security; federated computation; health-related data; interoperability; private-cloud; research infrastructure; scientific IT services; sensitive data; service virtualization.

MeSH terms

  • Big Data
  • Cloud Computing
  • Computer Security
  • Information Storage and Retrieval*
  • Privacy