UVA Leads Nationwide Project to Protect Health Data for COVID-19 Research

The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Virginia a $1.2 million expansion of a grant to develop a secure, high-performance computing system for research, with the new funds supporting nationwide use of the system for COVID-19 research.

The problem UVA is tackling is multi-faceted. Research institutions need secure, high-performance computing capability for sensitive research data; meanwhile, regulations protecting such data are quickly expanding. Meeting the regulations as data grows exponentially requires costly computing infrastructure, which some institutions cannot afford.

In 2019, the National Science Foundation supported UVA’s proposed work to broaden Virginia universities’ access to protected data for research with a $2.5 million grant to establish the Virginia Assuring Controls Compliance of Research Data, or Virginia ACCORD. ACCORD offers access to data storage and computational capability that are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – HIPAA – for researchers who might otherwise not have access through their institutions.

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