NHS England announces plans for £240m federated data platform
NHS England has unveiled plans to develop a Federated Data Platform (FDP), with an estimated supply value of £240m.
He published a prior information notice for potential suppliers before an open procurement.
According to the opinion, the FDP will be “an ecosystem of technologies and services” and “a key enabler of transformational improvements across the NHS”. It will be built around five major use cases: population health and person awareness, care coordination, elective recovery, vaccines and immunization, and supply chain.
The notice indicates that the scope of the contract will consist of two lots: one for the FDP itself, with the integration of the integrated care system (ICS) and the consulting and communication support for the implementation and adopting ICS, the other for privacy protection technology.
A supplier briefing will take place on April 13, 2022, the publication of the contract notice being scheduled for June 6, 2022.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT
Data federation is a software process that allows multiple databases to function as one. The virtual database takes data from a range of sources and converts it into a common model, providing a single source of data for front-end applications.
This can facilitate access to sensitive health data, offering a potential solution to address the issue of siled health data and barriers to data sharing.
This decision follows that of the British Health Secretary, Sajid Javid recent announcement a technology agenda for the NHS, which includes plans to “improve digital provision across all areas of health and social care”.
THE WIDER CONTEXT
According to Digital Health Newsthe favorite for the FDP contract is widely assumed to be an American software company Palantir Technologieswhich has partnered with NHSE, alongside Microsoft and Amazon to develop a data platform to inform the COVID-19 response.
Last year, tech justice firm Foxglove filed a lawsuit on behalf of openDemocracy on the £23.5m NHS data deal with Palantir.
Peter Wilson, Public Sector Industry Architect at software company Pegasystems, said: “It is encouraging to see NHS’s announcement of its intention to launch an open tender for the development of a federated data platform, to enable their transformation ambitions, although I and many others will be delighted to hear more details about the proposal at a vendor day on the 13thand April.
“The terminology is quite specific in terms of industry and it’s an important step to accept that structures like an ICS will always have a multitude of patient (and other) data stores, but it’s long overdue to have a way to provide a consolidated view of these.
“However, I have been advocating for some time now that this is only part of the story. Equally important is the ability to recognize that there will be times when it will also be necessary to coordinate and orchestrate a “patient journey” through the organizational components of an ICS, because frankly, that’s the point of having a consolidated view of the data.”