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Amsterdam, The Netherlands , 20th October 2023

Synthetic Data: A New Step Forward in Data Availability at Lifelines in collaboration with Syntho


Recently, we at Lifelines have been working on a new innovative solution to make our data more accessible for research, while enhancing the privacy of our participants. By using synthetic data from Syntho, we can now generate a synthetic dataset that has the same statistical properties as the collected original data, without including any data of our participants. The technique to generate synthetic data uses the real data to adopt the statistical patterns to generate a completely new, artificial dataset.

Synthetic data generation is a ‘Privacy Enhancing Technique’ (PET) that aims to protect and enhance the privacy of individuals. Such techniques help to minimize the amount of personal information exposed and reduce the risk of privacy breaches. For each data request from a researcher, we can now generate synthetic data by using Syntho’s synthetic data generation platform, providing each researcher with their own unique synthetic dataset.

We evaluate the synthetic data generated based on three properties: usability, utility and privacy. These outcomes provide us with information about privacy, the statistical similarities between the real data and the synthetic data, and the preserved relationships between variables. We do this based on statistics and visualizations, as shown in the figure (in this image, we see the average age per municipality of both the real data (left) and the synthesized data (right)).

Together with other experts and pioneers, we developed and improved this new synthetic data generation proposition of Lifelines. With the help of our partner Syntho, we successfully conducted the first explorations into the opportunities that data synthesis could bring for Lifelines. With their extensive knowledge of synthetic data generation techniques, we collaborated on the first synthetic datasets. In addition, we are extremely proud of the students who have conducted research with us on this topic. Both Flip and Rients laid the foundation for the adoption of Syntho’s platform that is now in use.

Having successfully completed the initial phase and exploration, Lifelines will continue the further deployment and adoption of synthetic data in collaboration with Syntho. Therefore, from now on, it will be possible for researchers and other stakeholders to work with synthetic Lifelines data. So, are you interested, or are you a researcher and would you like to know more about what synthetic data can do for your research? If so, let us know and we will be happy to help!


About Syntho:

Founded in 2020, Syntho is the Amsterdam based startup that is revolutionizing the tech industry with AI-generated synthetic data. As leading provider of synthetic data software, Syntho’s mission is to empower businesses worldwide to generate and leverage high-quality Synthetic Data at scale. Through its innovative solutions, Syntho is accelerating the data revolution by unlocking privacy-sensitive data and dramatically reducing the time required to obtain relevant (sensitive) data. By doing so, it aims to foster an open data economy where information can be freely shared and utilized without compromises on privacy. 

Syntho, through its Syntho Engine, is the leading provider of Synthetic Data software and is committed to enable businesses worldwide to generate and utilize high-quality Synthetic Data at scale. By making privacy-sensitive data more accessible and more rapidly available, Syntho enables  organizations to accelerate the adoption of data-driven innovation. Accordingly, Syntho is winner of the prestigious Philips Innovation Award, winner of the global SAS Hackathon in the category of Healthcare and Life Sciences, Unesco’s Challenge at VivaTech and is listed as Generative AI startup “to watch” by NVIDIA.

About Lifelines: Lifelines, a leading biobank in the Netherlands, conducts a multigenerational cohort study since 2006 with over 167,000 participants to collect relevant data and biosamples. This data is related to lifestyle, health, personality, BMI, blood pressure, cognitive abilities, and more. Lifelines offers this valuable data, making it an essential resource for national and international researchers, organizations, policymakers, and other stakeholders that typically focus on preventing, predicting, diagnosing, and treating diseases.

For more information about the partnership between Syntho and Lifelines, please contact Wim Kees Janssen (

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