Rosalind helps researchers navigate personal health data



A blog by Madalyn S Hardaker, Research Data Governance Lead, NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre.

In October 2020, Rosalind, our high performance computing and cloud facility added a Data Safe Haven service complete with a Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT).

This means that through our services researchers with projects on certain virtual machines and can work with personal health and care information in line with NHS Digital requirements, UK Department of Health Policy, and the National Data Guardian’s Data Security Standards.

Rosalind allows large-scale analysis of research data from sources as diverse as DNA samples to Fitbits and health apps.  The facility, launched in October 2015, is named after Dr Rosalind Franklin, who did vital work on the structure of DNA at King’s College London in the 1940s and 50s. 

Achievements so far

So far as a team we have

  • Talked to users about how they use the system to understand their needs in terms of security and functionality
  • Created short- and long-term Risk Treatment Plans to control known threats and vulnerabilities
  • Worked with colleagues across King’s College London and King’s Health Partners to define our scope and context o and how to work with supportive collaborators
  • Created guides for users and administrators based on the 5 Safes model
  • Trained the Rosalind support team on Data Security Awareness and Information Risk Management for sensitive data

Future plans

Our next big milestone will be a subsequent submission in June 2021.

For this,  we will continue working towards the ISO27001 international standard for information security management, the Cloud Security Alliance guidelines, NHS Digital’s Health and Social Care Cloud Security Good Practice Guide and Cloud Risk Framework, and of course also keeping a close eye on developments in industry best practice and continuing to learn from organisations with similar models.

Some of the projects we have lined up for this next stage include:

  • A full OpenStack upgrade aligned with the OpenStack Security Guide
  • Implementation of new tools and processes for monitoring and auditing
  • Further testing to refine security protocols
  • Improving data backup and restore provisions
  • Improving patching and update procedures
  • Collaborating across King’s College London to further develop shared resources

Get in touch

We would love to hear about any work you are doing or plan to do using personal health data.

Please contact the Rosalind support team with any questions or comments via

Tags: BioResource - Informatics -

By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 14 Oct 2020, 11:00 AM

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