Poulin acknowledges that people will have privacy concerns about the project's work. But he notes that the program is entirely opt-in (and out). The data will be stored at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth's onsite database. Additionally, sharing personal identifiable information with external/third parties is strictly forbidden by the study's medical protocol, which is safeguarded by HIPAA standards of medical privacy.
"We have created a secure data-storage environment behind the medical school's IT firewall to ensure participant privacy-both during this study phase and for any future interventions that may be indicated by the insights generated here," says Paul Thompson, study co-investigator and an instructor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
"Suicide prediction and intervention is really tough, mostly for social reasons, not technical reasons," Poulin says. "We need to get past that stigma. We need to be a combination of caring and tough-caring enough to do it and tough enough to take the criticism you're going to get."
"It's much more privacy invading than your financial statement," he acknowledges of the project's data collection. "Suicide is a very private choice that you can't stop without being able to peel back the layers of the onion on a person's psyche.
Thor Olavsrud covers IT Security, Big Data, Open Source, Microsoft Tools and Servers for CIO.com. Follow Thor on Twitter @ThorOlavsrud. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn. Email Thor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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