Palantir Secures £480 Million NHS Data Contract Despite Opposition


The business, which is owned by Peter Thiel, signed a lucrative agreement with England’s National Health Service in spite of resistance from lawmakers, doctors, and activists.

Palantir, the software company founded by billionaire Peter Thiel, overcame concerns that a company known for its work with the US military would secure such a sensitive role involving patient data by winning a major contract in Britain on Tuesday to help overhaul the technology system of the nation’s state-run health service.

Palantir has been awarded a seven-year contract worth 330 million pounds, or approximately $415 million, by the National Health Service to develop a new platform that unifies data from all N.H.S. departments into a single repository. The Federated Data Platform is a system designed to facilitate the exchange of patient data and the analysis of broader health trends within the healthcare system. Wales and Scotland are not included in the contract; it is only for the N.H.S. in England.

Palantir was a contentious decision because some medical professionals, civil society organisations, and lawmakers expressed apprehension about the company being tasked with creating what may end up being one of the biggest health data repositories in the world.

In addition to privacy issues and the business’s ties to Thiel, a libertarian investor and significant 2016 donor to President Donald J. Trump, a number of lawmakers and health officials were offended by Palantir’s vigorous lobbying efforts to secure the contract. Others questioned the efficacy of the technology.

The contract was given to Palantir in collaboration with PwC, NECS, Carnall Farrar, and business consulting firm Accenture.

The new platform will “bring together existing N.H.S. data, making it easier for staff to access key information to provide improved and more timely patient care,” according to a statement from N.H.S. England.

The system would “help bring down waiting lists, improve patient care, and reduce health inequalities,” according to a statement from Palantir CEO Alex Karp.

During the pandemic, Palantir gained the trust of numerous senior government officials, positioning them as a strong contender to win the contract. The business was crucial to the tabulation of data regarding the spread of Covid-19, the distribution of resources, and the start of the nation’s vaccination programme. Palantir leveraged the work to secure additional health contracts, one of which was to assist in clearing the backlog of patients requiring surgeries and other treatments.


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