Background: HIV treatment prescription is a complex process. Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) are a category of health information technologies that can assist clinicians to choose optimal treatments based on clinical trials and expert knowledge. The usability of some CDSSs for HIV treatment would be significantly improved by using the knowledge obtained by treating other patients. This knowledge, however, is mainly contained in patient records, whose usage is restricted due to privacy and confidentiality constraints. Methods: A treatment effectiveness measure, containing valuable information for HIV treatment prescription, was defined and a method to extract this measure from patient records was developed. This method uses an advanced cryptographic technology, known as secure Multiparty Computation (henceforth referred to as MPC), to preserve the privacy of the patient records and the confidentiality of the clinicians’ decisions. Findings: Our solution enables to compute an effectiveness measure of an HIV treatment, the average time-to-treatment-failure, while preserving privacy. Experimental results show that our solution, although at proof-of-concept stage, has good efficiency and provides a result to a query within 24 min for a dataset of realistic size. Interpretation: This paper presents a novel and efficient approach HIV clinical decision support systems, that harnesses the potential and insights acquired from treatment data, while preserving the privacy of patient records and the confidentiality of clinician decisions.

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Philips Research, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Journal of Medical Systems

Spini, G, Mancini, E, Attema, T, Abspoel, M.A, de Gier, J, Fehr, S, … Sloot, P.M.A. (2022). New approach to privacy-preserving clinical decision support systems for HIV treatment. Journal of Medical Systems, 46(12), 84.1–84.11. doi:10.1007/s10916-022-01851-x