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Digital Health and Care Wales sets up Google procurement

Cloud model
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Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) has taken a step towards facilitating the use of Google Cloud resources in supporting a national data platform.

It has reached an agreement with Computacenter, valued at up to £10 million but with no duration publicly stated, for the company to be sole supplier of Google Cloud products and related consultancy services within a procurement framework for the health and care sector in Wales.

The deal concludes the first work package in the National Data Resource (NDR) programme, aimed at providing a platform to support better data sharing and joined up working between organisations.

The contract notice says Computacenter will provide access to relevant resources to underpin the programme and its “evolving requirements”.

An earlier blogpost by NDR project manager Stephen Twiddy emphasised the importance of holding and processing non-standard data outside of relational databases and supporting the development of machine learning and AI.

“The challenge we face is that data silos that are often unscalable, contain duplicate, often out-of-date data locked into proprietary solutions, and have no single security layer,” he said.

“A modern data platform tries to solve this problem. It’s a combination of interoperable, scalable, and replaceable technologies working together to deliver our overall enterprise level requirements for data.”

Additional steps

Further work packages involve designing and commissioning the Google Cloud Platform environment for NHS Wales, then the data platform itself, followed by the creation of a service management wrap including governance, assurance and processing for incorporating further technical solutions and datasets.

Work is also ongoing on two main use cases: one focused on streaming data into the platform and converting it into an FHIR (fast healthcare interoperability resource) profiles; the other on batch updating of data.

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