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Delhi-AIIMS Hosts Workshop on Data Protection Act and Launches Oral Cancer Research Initiative

AIIMS New Delhi recently played host to a significant workshop titled "Demystifying the Digital Personal Data Protection Act (DPDPA), 2023: For Healthcare Research" on May 11, 2024. The aim of the workshop was to provide valuable insights into the DPDPA, 2023, and its implications for healthcare research within India.

The event saw the participation of experts from esteemed institutions such as IIT Jammu, Cyber Law University, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, IISc Bengaluru, and ICMR Delhi. Dr. M Srinivas, Director of AIIMS New Delhi, and Prof. JS Titiyal, Dean Research, graced the occasion, with Prof. Manoj Singh Gaur, Director of IIT Jammu, attending as the guest of honor.

The workshop attracted a diverse audience of professionals from medical, dental, and research backgrounds from across the country, alongside esteemed guests like Prof. Debnath, Prof. Rajesh Sundaresan from IISc, Mr. Rohit Satish from ARTPARK, Dr. Pawan Duggal from Cyber Law University, and Dr. Harpreet Singh from ICMR.

A highlight of the workshop was the official launch of the MIDAS initiative by AIIMS New Delhi, in collaboration with IISc Bengaluru and ICMR. The initiative aims to develop gold-standard datasets, including medical images, specifically for oral cancer research and diagnostics.

Given that oral cancer accounts for over 30% of all cancer cases in India, the MIDAS datasets hold promise for transforming patient outcomes. These datasets will play a crucial role in the development of artificial intelligence tools for predicting oral cancer risk and identifying markers of disease progression.

Dr. Deepika Mishra, Additional Professor at the Centre for Dental Excellence and Research, AIIMS, and the workshop organizer, highlighted the importance of anonymization in the MIDAS datasets to protect individuals' privacy while ensuring data utility for analysis. The team of oral pathologists at AIIMS, including Dr. Anubhuti Sood, Dr Vivek Nayyar, Dr Kiran, Dr Siva, and Dr. Beryl J, have developed protocols for image-based data collection, annotation, and quality control, all of which were showcased during the workshop.

Furthermore, the workshop facilitated an interdisciplinary panel discussion involving researchers, medical professionals, technical experts, and legal experts. The panel discussed strategies for safeguarding patient data privacy and security, stressing the significance of obtaining informed consent from patients or primary data principals.

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