NHS using data to fight the virus

The NHS has a huge data gathering and information need in order to better understand and manage the Covid-19 pandemic.

A recent blog, authored by Matthew Gould, Dr Indra Joshi and Ming Tang, explain that the government has commissioned NHS England and Improvement and NHSX to develop a data platform that will provide secure, reliable and timely data to those national organisations that need it. In effect, one single data store is to be created, bringing multiple data sources into a single, secure location.


Once processed, this data will provide live metrics which will help track the spread of the virus and the ability of the healthcare system to deal with it.

Every assurance is being given that the gathered data will be either destroyed or returned according to the strictest legal and contractual agreements in place between the NHS and partners.

Microsoft is supporting NHSX and NHS England’s own technical teams, with the backend data store being built on Azure. Palantir Technologies UK is providing the software – Palantir Foundry – that powers the data platform. Amazon Web Services is providing ‘infrastructure and technologies thatg are enabling NHSX and its partners to quickly and securely launch the new Covid-19 response platform. Faculty, an AI technology specialist, is developing dashboards, models and simulations as part of the data response strategy. Google’s G Suite tools will be used by the NHS to collect real-time information on hospital responses to Covid-19.

The blog states: “We have chosen these organisations in particular because of their knowledge in data and the skills they have for working in complex environments and delivering at pace in this time of crisis.”

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