Experts in Vienna have told how they are developing ethical and legal guidelines for a major European haematology research project.
The five-year Harmony project involves 51 institutions in eleven countries.
The "big data" project aims to assimilate huge quantities of data from existing clinical research on haematological cancers and make them available for further use.
The analysts hope to gather raw data from clinical trials, leading to concerns about the confidentiality of participants and the extent to which they may have given consent to the use of their data.
A key aim of the project is to create a technical, ethical and legal infrastructure for the use of the data.
Some 40 million Euros from the EU's innovative medicines initiative is being spent on the project.
The project is drawing on the Josephinum at MedUni Vienna, Austria, which is the base of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics.
The centre's director Dr Christiane Druml said: "As a competence centre in the ethics of medical research, we have taken on the task of developing and shaping this sensitive aspect."
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