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NHS working with tech giants to combat coronavirus

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/violetkaipa)

The NHS is joining forces with a group of high-profile tech firms, both domestic and international, to help combat the coronavirus outbreak.

According to a BBC report, the NHS is working with Microsoft, Google, Faculty AI and Palantir to create AI-enabled dashboards that will aggregate the latest information about coronavirus transmission.

The aim is to help healthcare workers better identify the most vulnerable demographics and ensure hospitals in regional hotspots aren't overburdened.

The data used to fuel these dashboards will be drawn from NHS 111 hotline calls and a combination of other sources. 

Microsoft will lend its Azure cloud solutions to securely store the data, Palantir will offer its analytics tool, while Faculty AI will develop the dashboard, models and simulations. Google’s G-Suite, meanwhile, will be used to collect and aggregate real-time operational data.

Sceptics might harbour concerns about Palantir’s handling of personally identifiable information, given its mixed history. However, the NHS has said that once the pandemic is over, the data will either be destroyed or “returned in line with the law and the strict contractual agreements that are in place between the NHS and partners”

The dashboard could be available to government decision-makers as early as next week.