STAT February 13, 2020
Marielle S. Gross and Robert C. Miller, Jr.

What if we could learn from massive collections of data while avoiding the privacy and other risks typically associated with sharing such information?

The Mayo Clinic has taken a step toward making that possible with its announcement that the first venture of the Mayo Clinic Platform will use federated learning as a foundational technology of if its privacy model.

Federated learning lets a network of participants collaboratively train algorithms on data while keeping each stakeholder’s data within its home location. Instead of sending data to a single, central repository where algorithms are trained, federated learning sends algorithms to the data. The updated algorithms are then shared with the participants.

This is in direct contrast to traditional data science methods, which...