Trusted Research Environments

What is a TRE?

Trusted Research Environments (TREs), also referred to as “Data Safe Havens” or “Secure Data Environments,” are extremely secure computing environments that allow authorised researchers, scientists, and other experts remote access to access valuable data via a stringent approval process for research in the public interest and to better people’s lives. HDRUK are committed to enabling the trustworthy use of health data for research.  

What is TRE? A TRE is a Trusted Research Environment. Also known as 'Data Safe Havens', TREs are highly secure computing environments that provide remote access to health data for approved researchers to use in research that can save and improve lives. Why are they important? TREs make research safer. Making data available through a TRE means that people can be confident that their personal health data is accessed securely and their privacy protected. TREs help make research efficient, collaborative and cost effective, providing rich data that enables deep insights which will go on to improve healthcare and save lives. TREs provide approved researchers with a single location to access valuable datasets. The data and analytical tools are in one place, a bit like a secure reference library. How is my data safeguarded? Health data should always be kept safe and secure, and used responsibly to ensure privacy. Health Data Research UK ensures these high standards are met by promoting the use of the 'Five Safes' model across all TREs. Safe People Only trained and specifically accredited researchers can access the data. Safe Projects Data is only used for ethical, approved research with the potential for clear public benefit. Safe Settings Access to data is only possible using secure technology systems - the data never leaves the TRE. Safe Data Researchers only use data that have been de-identified to protect privacy. Safe Outputs All research outputs are checked to ensure they cannot be used to identify subjects. Learn more about TREs and discover examples of how TREs are being used to enable life-saving health research.

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