NHS Launches Upgraded IT Backbone Spine, Powered By Riak

Press Release | Basho Technologies | September 9, 2014

London, Sept. 9 2014 – the Spine – the electronic backbone of the UK’s National Health Service – has been successfully rebuilt to harness new technology, including the use of Basho Technologies’ distributed database, Riak Enterprise.

The Spine – a collection of national applications, services and directories – connects clinicians, patients and local service providers throughout England to essential national services, such as electronic prescriptions and patient health records.

Spine is used by more than 20,000 organizations that provide health care across England, including primary and secondary care sites, pharmacies, opticians and dentists. Riak, the open source distributed database, is key to providing the reliability and scalability for the platform to drive efficiency and improve patient care.

The NHS’ move to revamp the Spine, in a major project led by England’s Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), was driven by the need for a scalable, resilient and flexible system that would also result in cost-savings for the organization.

With these requirements in mind, the NHS selected Riak Enterprise, the commercial version of Basho’s distributed open source, highly available NoSQL database, to support the transition and implementation of the new Spine. Basho and the HSCIC collaborated throughout to ensure the technical knowledge of both organizations was reflected in enhancements to Riak and the wider project itself.

Riak has been tested thoroughly over the past year and will also allow the NHS to update the Spine seamlessly, removing interruptions which could adversely affect NHS employees and patients.

The transition was finalised over the weekend of 22nd August, 2014, with the infrastructure undergoing a 45-day period of intensive monitoring to ensure that it is performing as expected.

“The improvement of patient care is of the utmost importance in the healthcare industry. As data, such as patient records, prescriptions and all other medical information becomes digitized, it is vital that government health organizations can adapt and provide constant, reliable access to this information,” said Adam Wray, CEO at Basho Technologies.

Stuart McCaul, Managing Director, EMEA at Basho Technologies said, “The information stored on the Spine is potentially life-saving, and so users must be able to quickly access the data they require without delay or complication. Riak has previously been adopted by other healthcare services outside of the UK, such as The Danish Health and Medical Authority, and it provides the Spine with resiliency and predictable scalability while also saving the NHS both time and costs, contributing to the improvement of patient care in England.”

About Basho Technologies

Basho is a distributed systems company dedicated to making software that is highly available, fault-tolerant and easy-to-operate at scale. Basho’s distributed database, Riak, the industry leading distributed NoSQL database, and Basho’s cloud storage software, Riak CS, are used by fast growing Web businesses and by one third of the Fortune 50 to power their critical Web, mobile and social applications and their public and private cloud platforms.

Riak and Riak CS are available open source. Riak Enterprise and Riak CS Enterprise offer enhanced multi-datacenter replication and 24×7 Basho support. For more information, visit basho.com.