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KeyPoint, a trusted research environment to analyse and share sensitive research data, is now live.  

QCIF is currently hosting active research projects in KeyPoint, onboarding more, and has a pipeline of projects that are planning to use the platform.  

KeyPoint enables researchers to access, analyse, manage and share sensitive research data in a scalable, fully governed, and highly secure environment, whilst always maintaining full control of their data.  

“This will foster increased engagement with sensitive data and subsequently enable new research, new translation opportunities, new outcomes, and the application of novel approaches to such data,” said QCIF Head of Data and Software Solutions Peter Marendy. 

QCIF CEO Sach Jayasinghe said: “A key challenge in the R&D ecosystem is one of nurturing data trust, especially across academia, government and industry. Without trust the linking of data and integration is not possible, which is required to apply AI and draw new insights for big data. Platforms such as KeyPoint are part of the solution moving forward.“

KeyPoint is currently suitable for de-identified sensitive research data. As QCIF progresses to attain Information Security Standard Certification, the platform will be suitable for higher classifications of data. 

Each project wishing to be on-boarded to KeyPoint is required to perform a risk assessment to confirm the suitability of the platform for their project.

KeyPoint can host data from any research domain, be it related to the life, environmental or social sciences, or the humanities.

By using KeyPoint, researchers can gain the required trust to receive sensitive data for analysis from Australian state and federal data custodians. 

KeyPoint allows Australian researchers to use their existing institutional credentials via the Australian Access Federation (AAF), in alignment with a number of institutions’ research policies. 

Support for external, non-AAF enabled collaborators is provided through QCIF’s use of AAF’s Virtual Home capability.

KeyPoint was designed and developed by QCIF, with co-investment from The University of Queensland and the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). 

Several ground-breaking UQ projects were early adopters of KeyPoint, for example, the Australian Centre of Excellence in Melanoma Imaging and Diagnosis, Aged Care Data Compare, Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, ATLAS Indigenous Primary Care Surveillance Network, and the Global Drug Survey. (Visit our website for a detailed description about these projects.)

KeyPoint comprises all the infrastructure, software, systems and analytical tools required by researchers to conduct powerful data analyses on authorised data to address their research questions.

The platform’s compute infrastructure provides workstation-scale analytics environments, including high-memory virtual desktops for data-intensive workloads and GPU-enabled virtual desktops for visualisation, machine learning and AI workloads.

The platform has been deployed in a separate, restricted access, purpose-built region on the QCIF-managed Queensland node of the ARDC Nectar Research Cloud.

KeyPoint will ensure sensitive data remains both secure and meets FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) data principles whilst enforcing data governance and security consistent with the Five Data Sharing Principles: Safe Project, Safe People, Safe Settings, Safe Data and Safe Outputs.

KeyPoint will be enhanced over the coming months to enact CARE (Collective benefits, Authority to control, Responsibility, and Ethics) principles for Indigenous data during data ingress and egress, and to develop data connectors for clinical data management systems OMOP and FHIR. Development of these new features are guided by the DIFFERENCE project (Digital Infrastructure For improving First Nations Maternal and Child Health). 

“DIFFERENCE is a pioneering project that aims to leverage digital health data to improve First Nations health outcomes, and KeyPoint’s contribution to this effort underscores its importance in the field of digital health technology,” said Dr Dom Gorse, QCIF Data Science Director and co-Chief Investigator in the DIFFERENCE project. 

In August this year, KeyPoint was a finalist in the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) national iAwards after placing as a Merit Recipient in the Technology Platform Solution category in the Queensland iAwards in July.  

View the KeyPoint platform at:

Visit QCIF’s KeyPoint webpage for more information.