Amazon, Microsoft and Palantir to help UK healthcare with data project

Amazon, Microsoft and Palantir are partnering with the UK’s National Health Service to use data to predict where health care shortages may arise. The state of healthcare must be made transparent via dashboards.

Under the plan, the three US companies want to deploy data from the NHS’s 111 emergency number, along with other data related to Covid-19 that the government agency can provide. The London-based Faculty AI also helps to interpret the data.

This includes data on which respirators are used in which locations, the degree of illness among healthcare staff, how many patients occupy which type of hospital beds and the expected length of bed occupancy.

On the basis of all this data, models and dashboards must be set up that map the consequences of shifting resources such as ventilators. These analyzes should lead to better decisions about the fight against the coronavirus in the United Kingdom, such as proactively deploying equipment in regions, distributing patients across hospitals and identifying potential sources of infection at an early stage.

The BBC writes that there are privacy risks, but that the NHS promises that data will be anonymized and destroyed once the crisis is over. Amazon deploys its AWS cloud division, Microsoft’s participation concerns Azure and Palantir supplies its Foundry software to connect the data sources. The American Immigration and Customs Enforcement, among others, uses Palantir software to track down and deport people who have crossed the border illegally.