Health Pseudonymisation Service

About Pseudonymisation

Pseudonymisation - the replacement of identification data by a pseudonym - is a process by which confidential data linked to a person's identity lose their nominative character. Thanks to this pseudonym, confidential data remains linked to the same person in all files and computer systems without the identity of the individual concerned being revealed. Thus the source (the professional who has the patient's name record) does not know the assigned pseudonym (number), and the recipient of the data only knows the assigned pseudonym (number) without ever being able to know the patient's identity.

A key feature of pseudonymisation is the possibility of re-identification. This is where it differs from anonymisation. For this reason, this technique is recognized as an important method of protecting the confidentiality of personal health information, especially in the context of research. It also facilitates the adaptation of health and research structures to the EU GDPR (Article 25 "Data protection by design and data protection by default" and Article 32 "Security of processing"), as well as standards international (ISO / TS 25237: 2017 “Health informatics - Pseudonymisation”). 

Since 2015, more and more requests for such a pseudonymisation service have been made by some of our partners, particularly from the world of medical research, such as, for example, players in the National Cancer Plan such as or the 'Integrated Biobank of Luxemburg (IBBL). This led the Agence eSanté to initiate the first actions to be able to offer this service allowing the actors concerned to be able to ensure, within the framework of their activities, the provision of pseudonymised data. 

The SPS service deployed by the Agency provides for the pseudonymisation of patient identity data, which allows research institutions to use health data under supervision. Pseudonymisation is a fundamental prerequisite for the processing of this data and soon for managing and integrating "big data", omnipresent in the context of technological and scientific innovation.

Thus, this SPS service gives the Agence eSanté the role of actor that connects the world of health, medical and academic research.

Our partners using this service

The Agence eSanté has been in production with a first use case proposed by the Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg (IBBL) since the end of 2018.

Since the implementation of this first use case, various other stakeholders have shown their interest in this service for specific use cases within their missions. The structures with which the Agency has already been in contact for the deployment of the service include:

  • Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH)
  • Laboratoire National de Santé (LNS)
  • Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (Université du Luxembourg) (LCSB)
  • Hôpitaux Robert Schuman
  • Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg
  • Direction de la santé 
  • Institut National du Cancer (INC)