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Privacy Preserving Federated Machine Learning in EO Science



Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI) pave the way for new pathways in the improvement of healthcare. But they also hide risks for the security of sensitive clinical data stored in critical healthcare ICT infrastructure. The EU-funded FeatureCloud project proposes a transformative security-by-design concept aiming to reduce the possibility of cyber crime and allow safe cross-border collaborative data mining efforts. The concept will be applied to a software toolkit employing the worldwide first privacy-by-architecture method. Central features of this method are no sharing of sensitive data via any communication channels and no data storage in one central point. FeatureCloud will integrate federated machine learning with blockchain technology to safely apply next-generation AI technology in medical innovations.

The digital revolution, in particular big data and artificial intelligence (AI), offer new opportunities to transform healthcare. However, it also harbors risks to the safety of sensitive clinical data stored in critical healthcare ICT infrastructure. In particular data exchange over the internet is perceived insurmountable posing a roadblock hampering big data based medical innovations. FeatureCloud’s transformative security-by-design concept will minimize the cyber-crime potential and enable first secure cross-border collaborative data mining endeavors. FeatureCloud will be implemented into a software toolkit for substantially reducing cyber risks to healthcare infrastructure by employing the world-wide first privacy-by-architecture approach, which has two key characteristics: (1) no sensitive data is communicated through any communication channels, and (2) data is not stored in one central point of attack. Federated machine learning (for privacy-preserving data mining) integrated with blockchain technology (for immutability and management of patient rights) will safely apply next-generation AI technology for medical purposes. Importantly, patients will be given effective means of revoking previously given consent at any time. Our ground-breaking new cloud-AI infrastructure only exchanges learned model representations which are anonymous by default. Collectively, our highly interdisciplinary consortium from IT to medicine covers all aspects of the value chain: assessment of cyber risks, legal considerations and international policies, development of federated AI technology coupled to blockchaining, app store and user interface design, implementation as certifiable prognostic medical devices, evaluation and translation into clinical practice, commercial exploitation, as well as dissemination and patient trust maximization. FeatureCloud’s goals are bold, necessary, achievable, and paving the way for a socially agreeable big data era of the Medicine 4.0 age.


AI4EO, Digital Platform Services
Prime contractor