Doctors and patients have threatened legal action over NHS England’s procurement of a £480 million federated data platform.
The plan to create a privately run central database is expected to include all health information held by the NHS, including hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes.
Denver-based Palantir, which makes surveillance software used by the FBI and CIA, is currently frontrunner for the project.
A recent investigation by OpenDemocracy revealed hundreds of NHS hospitals have been ordered to share patients’ confidential medical records with the company.
A Palantir spokesman said:
“We don’t collect or monetise data, we simply provide the tools to help customers organise and understand their own information.”
Lawyers acting on behalf of three groups including The Doctors’ Association have questioned whether the plans could lead to tech giants creating fitness apps to sell back to the NHS for “the public good.”
The groups, supported by tech justice campaigners Foxglove, are demanding the Government reveal what data will be shared.
They have given NHS England two weeks to respond before they apply for a judicial review.
Dr David Nicholl, consultant neurologist and representative of the Doctors Association UK, said:
“The history of the NHS is littered with costly IT disasters and now, during the worst workforce crisis we have ever faced, we cannot afford another.
“There is far too much we don’t know about the NHS Federated Data Platform for doctors to have confidence that it will help patients – or that it will work in the ways being promised.”