CSIRO signs agreement to provide tech to UK's NHS

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 12 November, 2020

CSIRO signs agreement to provide tech to UK's NHS

The CSIRO has entered an agreement to provide its innovative Ontoserver technology, which seeks to standardise clinical terminologies used for healthcare software, to the UK's National Health Service (NHS).

Under the agreement, the CSIRO and DXC Technology in the UK will collaborate to roll out Ontoserver across the UK and Ireland.

Ontoserver was developed to make it easier for software to use SNOMED-CT and other "clinical dictionary"-like tools to match up common variations in how doctors describe symptoms, to allow for greater interoperability.

This need has taken on an acute new dimension in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is now deep into its second wave in Europe.

Dr David Hansen, CEO of CSIRO's Australian e-Health Research Centre, said Ontoserver already forms the foundation of Australia's national clinical terminology platform.

"This agreement to take our home-grown innovation across to the other side of the world really shows the great work being done in digital health in Australia," he said.

"A shared health language is fundamental to innovation in health care around the world. Australian companies already using Ontoserver will find another market providing their local terminology using familiar software, while improvements to the software through this partnership will also be available for use in Australia."

NHS Digital Principle Data Architect Nicholas Oughtibridge added that recording data once and reconciling and sharing it safely has been a long-standing challenge for the NHS.

"Ontoserver has the potential to transform the way in which data is captured, shared and analysed across health and care. The capabilities that Ontoserver delivers are key to enabling data from disparate systems to be safely and meaningfully exchanged between care providers, researchers and service planners," he said.

"NHS data is already a valuable tool in fighting disease and finding new courses of treatment, but having access to more localised data, more quickly will have a real boost for researchers."

Ontoserver was developed at the Australian e-Health Research Centre in Brisbane, CSIRO's national digital health program that is operated in a joint venture with the Queensland Government.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/vectorfusionart

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