16 July 2018 – UKCloud Health today announced that it has become a member of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH), an international, non-profit alliance that is focused on accelerating the potential of research and medicine to advance human health. UKCloud Health and its thriving ecosystem of over 30 specialist healthcare tech partners are keen to help accelerate innovation and enhance collaboration with and between GA4GH members using UKCloud Health’s secure, UK sovereign, multi-cloud platform.
“This is the latest example of UKCloud Health providing a cost-effective platform for an ecosystem of organisations within a specialist sector to help accelerate innovation and enhance collaboration within a secure, UK sovereign environment. It is a model that has proven successful time and again – providing great value for UKCloud Health’s customers and partners across the public sector as it has also done for UKCloud Health’s customers and partners across the health and care sector. The model is also being applied in the defence and national security sector with UKCloudX and now promises to be equally compelling for the global genomics community,” said Simon Hansford, UKCloud Health CEO. “With the increasing pace and complexity of research and medical advances in genomics and health, it is necessary to find better ways of working as an ecosystem to collaborate more effectively and innovate faster.”,
One key advantage of collaborating as an ecosystem on a shared platform in this way is data gravity, which is the way that certain key data sets attract applications, services, and other data. Often software, services, and business logic cluster around certain key data sets that are particularly massive and important. There can be a real advantage in being located physically closer to these key data sets. For example, Genomics England, the largest single health data set in the UK, is hosted by UKCloud Health along with a number of key hospital trusts. This has attracted a growing ecosystem of service providers to the platform, which has in turn attracted further partners, clients, and data sets. Located in close proximity to each other, they all benefit from secure, low-latency connectivity and increased scope for collaboration.
In addition, when it comes to optimal workload placement, there is no one-size-fits-all cloud approach. Customers need a secure, compliant, and cost-appropriate solution that meet the demands of their organisation and provides a best fit for each workload. Within an ecosystem of organisations, each with an array of legacy and cloud native applications, a multi-cloud approach provides the most comprehensive and effective solution.
Bringing the advantages of data gravity, multi-cloud and High Assurance together, UKCloud Health offers a single environment, with secure access across N3 and HSCN, and with a wide choice of cloud technologies, all in close proximity not only to each other, but also to a significant cluster of other key research and healthcare data sets. UKCloud Health spans two government-grade UK data centre sites 70 miles apart on the Crown Campus – home to the government’s own data centres.
In support of its aim of enabling the responsible, voluntary, and secure sharing of genomic data, GA4GH provides a Genomic Data Sharing Toolkit. It also has a five-year strategic plan that aims to drive uptake of standards and frameworks for genomic data sharing within the research and healthcare communities in order to enable responsible sharing of clinical-grade genomic data by 2022.