CHEO Research Institute Logo
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text SizeFacebookTwitterYoutube

photo of researcher holding a beaker

Khaled El Emam, PhD photo of Khaled El Emam
Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute
Professor, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa
613-737-7600 Ext. 4181
Research Practice Areas:
Current Research:
The Electronic Health Information Laboratory (EHIL) has a research program devoted to facilitating the sharing of health information for secondary purposes while protecting the privacy of patients. EHIL develops technology to facilitate health data-sharing, including de-identification methods and secure computation methods to allow surveillance or analysis without compromising privacy. The different methods are suitable under different circumstances and constraints, from individual-level data release and on-going surveillance to interactive remote analysis.

EHIL's reasearch spans theoretical work (which consists of developing mathematical models and metrics of re-identification risk), empirical work (evaluations of our models and metrics through simulations and controlled studies), applied work (evaluations on large data sets), and knowledge translation (building software tools, instruments, and education).
Dr. Khaled El Emam is a senior investigator at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute and heads the Electronic Health Information Laboratory. Dr. El Emam held the Canada Research Chair in Electronic Health Information at the University of Ottawa, where he is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine. His main area of research is electronic health information and privacy, which includes developing techniques for the secure sharing of health information and assessing the re-identification risk of health datasets.
Sample Publications:
K. El Emam, B. Malin, S.Rodgers: "Anonymizing and Sharing Individual Patient Level Data", BMJ (in press), 2015.

K. Elmam, C. Alvarez; "A Critical Appraisal of the Article 29 Working Party Opinion 05/2014 on Data Anonymization Techniques', International Data Privacy Law first published online December 13, 2014.

H-W. Jung, K. El Emam; "A Linear Programming Model for Preserving Privacy when Disclosing Patient Spatial Information for Secondary Purposes', International Journal of Health Geographics, 2014, 13:16.

K. El Emam, L. Arbuckle, A. Essex, S.Samet, B. Eze, G. Middleton, D. Buckeridge, E. Jonker, E. Moher, C. Earle: "Secure Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistant Organism Colonization in Ontario Long Term Care Homes', PLoS ONE,2014,9(4):e93285.

K. El Emam, F. Dankar, A. Neisa, E. Jonker: "Evaluating the risk of patient re-identification from adverse drug event reports', BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2013,13:114.

V. Bobicev, M. Sokolova, K. El Emam, Y. Jafer, B. Dewar, E. Jonker, S. Matwin: "Can Anonymous Posters on Medical Forums be Reidentified?", Journal of Medical Internet Research 2013 (Oct 03); 15(10):e215.

K. El Emam, E. Moher; "Privacy challenges when collecting data for public health purposes" Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 2013, 41(Suppl 1): 37-41.

B.A. Malin, K. El Emam, C.M. O'Keefe: "Biomedical data privacy: Problems, perspectives, and recent advances" Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 2013, 20(1):2-4.

K. El Emam, E. Jonker, E. Moher, L. Arbuckle: "A review of evidence on consent bias in research", Am J Bioeth 2013; 13(4):42-44.

F.K. Dankar, K. El Emam; "Practicing Differential Privacy in Healthcare: A Review" Transactions on Data Privacy 2013, 6(1):35-67.

K. El Emam, L. Arbuckle, E. Jonker, K. Anderson: "Two h-Index Benchmarks for Evaluating the Publication Performance of Medical Informatics Researchers." Accepted in Journal of Medical Internet Research 2012, 14(5):e144. 

K. El Emam, S. Samet, L. Arbuckle, R. Tamblyn, C. Earle, M. Kantarcioglu: "A secure distributed logistic regression protocol for the detection of rare adverse drug events." Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 2012, 7(7):e39915.

F. Dankar, K. El Emam, A. Neisa, T. Roffey: "Estimating the re-identification risk of clinical data sets." BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2012, 12:66.

K. El Emam, S. Samet, J. Hu, L. Peyton, C. Earle, G. Jayaraman, T. Wong, M. Kantarcioglu, F. Dankar, and A. Essex, "A Protocol for the Secure Linking of Registries for HPV Surveillance." PLoS ONE 2012, 7(7); e39915.

M. van der Velden, K. El Emam: "Not all my friends need to know: A qualitative study of teenage patients, privacy and social media." Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 2012, Jul 6.

M. Sokolova, K. El Emam, L. Arbuckle, E. Neri, S. Rose, E, Jonker: "P2P Watch: Personal Health Information detection in peer-to-peer file sharing networks." Journal of Medical Internet Research 2012,14(4).

K. El Emam, L. Arbuckle, G. Koru, L. Gaudette, E. Neri, S. Rose, J. Howard, J. Gluck: “
De-Identification Methods for Open Health Data: The Case of the Heritage Health Prize Claims Data Set.” In Journal of Medical Internet Research,14(1). doi:10.2196/jmir.2001, 2012.

K. El Emam, E. Jonker, L. Arbuckle, B. Malin: “
A Systematic Review of Re-identification Attacks on Health Data.” In PLoS ONE 2011, 6(12): e28071. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028071.

K. El Emam, D. Paton, F. Dankar, G. Koru: “De-identifying a Public Use Microdata File from the Canadian National Discharge Abstract Database.” In BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2011, 11:53, DOI:10.1186/1472-6947-11-53.

K. El Emam, D. Buckeridge, R. Tamblyn, A. Neisa, E. Jonker, A. Verma: “The Re-identification Risk of Canadians from Longitudinal Demographics.” In BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2011, 11:46, DOI:10.1186/1472-6947-11-46, 2011.

K. El Emam, J. Mercer, K. Moreau, I. Grava-Gubins, D. Buckeridge, E. Jonker: “Physician Privacy Concerns when Disclosing Patient Data for Public Health Purposes During a Pandemic Influenza Outbreak.” In BMC Public Health 2011, 11:454, DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-11-454, 2011.

K. El Emam: “Methods for the de-identification of electronic health records for genomic research.” In Genome Medicine, 3:25, DOI:10.1186/gm239, 2011.

K. El Emam, J. Hu, J. Mercer, L. Peyton, M. Kantarcioglu, B. Malin, D. Buckeridge, S. Samet, C. Earle: “A Secure Protocol for Protecting the Identity of Providers When Disclosing Data for Disease Surveillance.” In the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 18:212-217, DOI:10.1136/amiajnl-2011-000100, 2011.

K. El Emam, K. Moreau, E. Jonker: “How Strong are Passwords Used to Protect Personal Health Information in Clinical Trials?” In the Journal of Medical Internet Research, 13(1):e18, 2011.

View Q & A
Take Action
Quick Links

Our Researchmagnifying glass

abcefg hijklmnopqrst uvwxyz