Why UA Soteria?
Working with personally identifiable information (PII) has become commonplace for many disciplines. However, the regulations and compliance that exist to ensure the protection often create barriers that are challenging for highly collaborative, interdisciplinary projects that involve managing multiple data types. The UA Soteria environment is committed to providing a secure managed data and analysis enclave that is HIPAA compliant and easily accessible.
Unified and secure enclaves like UA Soteria have been established to accelerate research and collaboration, it takes inspiration from efforts such as the NIH NC3 (National COVID Cohort Collaborative) that allows healthcare providers, public health experts and epidemiologists to collaborate and draw conclusions at a speed previously inaccessible to researchers. With access to multiple sources of PII and PHI, University of Arizona researchers will be able to perform similarly groundbreaking research via UA Soteria.
With funding support from the University of Arizona Health Sciences 5.3 Strategic Initiatives plan, the University of Arizona Data Science Institute, University of Arizona Information Technology Services, Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics and CyVerse have joined forces to bring big data science techniques and capabilities to biomedical research in a project called UA Soteria. UA Soteria, named after the Greek goddess of safety, allows researchers to efficiently manage, analyze and collaborate with data sets requiring higher levels of compliance and security handling (PII/PHI/HIPAA content). Soteria complements the existing UArizona Controlled and Unclassified Information (CUI) Environment which provides NIST 800-171 compliance.
If you are interested in staying up to date with the progress of this project or want more information on how to be a part of the UA Soteria pilot launch, please fill out this Google form and read on. You can direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Soteria Infrastructure comprises of:
1. Secure network perimeter, inside which key software services and systems are housed. Access to this perimeter is restricted to UArizona individuals that have met the compliance requirement (training etc.). Any services housed inside the Soteria perimeter are not visible or accessible from the public internet
2. Soteria perimeter spans campus Research Data Center (RDC) and dedicated Virtual Private Cloud - (Amazon AWS.gov), allowing researchers to utilize commercial cloud and on campus resources
3. Dedicated High Performance Computing (HPC) - resources with CPU and GPU for processing PHI/PII data workloads
Initial Soteria Software Services (Fall 2021) include:
1. RStudio Connect - a popular web-based platform for securely sharing a spectrum of data products, static or dynamic reports, dashboards developed in R and Python along with interactive web application and visualizations. (Service managed by UArizona Data Science Institute)
2. CyVerse Health - a popular web workbench for data science teams to securely collaborate, customize and share reproducible workflows and data using advanced containerization technologies Docker and Kubernetes. (Service managed by UArizona CyVerse)
3. XNAT - open source imaging informatics platform that facilitates common management, productivity, and quality assurance tasks for medical imaging associated data.
4. REDCap - popular Electronic Data Capture (EDC) platform. (Service managed by UArizona Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics)
5. Atlas - web-based tool developed by the OHDSI community that facilitates the design and execution of analyses on standardized, patient-level, observational data in the CDM format. (Service managed by UArizona Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics)