Researchers have used astrophysical research to develop a new technique to help link anonymous patient data sets used in patient registries with the goal to better track the treatments cystic fibrosis patients will respond to best.

Anonymization is required to share patient data in most cases, such as the European Cystic Fibrosis Society Patient Registry. However, researchers say that this data taken from different national registries can often be non-uniform or broken, with patient identifiers changed or unavailable.

To “re-link” the anonymous data, researchers used astronomical statistical matching techniques to link individual patient records that can be used where identifiers are absent or to validate uncertain identifiers.

Read more about their process at