A secure system for genomics clinical decision support

J Biomed Inform. 2020 Dec:112:103602. doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2020.103602. Epub 2020 Oct 17.


We developed a prototype genomic archiving and communications system to securely store genome data and provide clinical decision support (CDS). This system operates on a client-server model. The client encrypts the data, and the server stores data and performs the computations necessary for CDS. Computations are directly performed on encrypted data, and the client decrypts results. The server cannot decrypt inputs or outputs, which provides strong guarantees of security. We have validated our system with three genomics-based CDS applications. The results demonstrate that it is possible to resolve a long-standing dilemma in genomic data privacy and accessibility, by using a principled cryptographical framework and a mathematical representation of genome data and CDS questions.

Keywords: Genome archiving and communications system; Genomic computation; Homomorphic encryption; Secure clinical decision support; Secure outsourcing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Computer Security
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Privacy