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  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

UK consortium enters race for £480 million NHS data platform

Ever since the procurement tender for the NHS data platform, FDP was launched in January, it has been a major subject of controversy with many believing it’s a must-win deal for US spy-tech company, Palantir. However, three vendors from the UK consortium have entered the race and are looking to undercut the US bidder to get the £480 million contract to build the Federated Data Platform (FDP) for NHS.

Palantir is seen to have an unfair advantage having worked with NHS to build a Covid-19 data store in a £23 million contract. According to reports some of the functionality of the Covid-19 data platform will be transferred to the FDP.

The three firms, Voror Health Technologies, Eclipse, and Black Pear already have experience developing IT systems for the NHS and will be looking to leverage their previous exploits to score the deal.

Voror, for instance, has created one of the world’s largest near real-time medical databases that helps professionals to access population health and care data, across multiple health and care providers.

Eclipse says it has built an IT platform to help avoid hospital admissions through analysis of patient data and Black Pear is a developer of mobile apps and data services in the NHS. One of the biggest concerns that have been raised with the new data platform regards patient data privacy. Privacy advocates and legal groups are against entrusting the NHS data to a foreign company and the fact that the UK consortium vendors are headquartered in the UK is a major selling point for them.

"We know that the NHS is a very complex system, and different from other healthcare systems around the world, particularly in terms of its meticulous protection of patient data. We were very keen that the NHS stays in control of the data ... and to reinvest the revenue in frontline NHS services,” Julian Brown, chief executive of Eclipse said in a press statement.

What remains uncertain is what happens if the firms are awarded the contract seeing as Palantir functions are already getting integrated into the FDP.

Oracle Cerner and IBM are two other companies said to be in the race to secure the mega NHS deal.


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