NHS England has awarded the contract to develop a new platform for the NHS Spine to healthtech developer Aire Logic.
It has published an award notice for a four-year, £19 million agreement through which the company will provide a more open platform for functions such as demographics to run as separate microservices in the cloud.
The domains will be migrated from the Spine core platform, with the expectation that this will enable a greater rate of change in functionality.
The contract award is part of the Spine Futures programme, under which a new version of the Spine – which provides the infrastructure for the sharing of digital information between NHS bodies – is being developed over the next two years.
A recent outline of plans from the NHS England Transformation Directorate indicated that priorities include making it easier for new suppliers to integrate with Spine services and to use the Messaging Exchange for Health and Social Care (MESH) product suite.
The programme has six objectives: to enable rapid response to changing demands in health and care; deliver better user outcomes; comply with NHS architecture principles; foster ecosystem innovation; rationalise the cost of provision; and optimise operations.
Aire Logic has a relatively high profile in the NHS, having worked on significant projects including the delivery of electronic health records for the Christie Foundation Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, the integration of patient reported data into electronic records as Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, and systems interoperability for Public Health England.