Waterloo researchers collaborate with The Ottawa Hospital and other Canadian institutions on initiatives for public health, privacy and security

By Jordan Flemming

University Relations

At the intersection of data privacy, open science and public health, the University of Waterloo has initiated a collaborative effort with several Canadian government agencies to explore the use of synthetic data for research and analysis.

Dr. Helen Chen, a professor in the Faculty of Health and director of the Professional Practice Centre in Health Systems is leading the initiative.

“This collaboration primarily aims to utilize synthetic data's capabilities in addressing the sensitive information held by government agencies,” Chen says. “It is very important we preserve privacy while enabling data sharing and analysis — synthetic data stands to be a critical tool in achieving this balance.”

Synthetic data is artificially generated information that closely mimics the characteristics and patterns of real data without containing any sensitive or personally identifiable information. It is developed through advanced machine learning algorithms and statistical techniques to replicate the properties and structures of real-world datasets.

Read the full article from Waterloo News to learn more.