UK health services switch cen…

UK health services switch central database to open source


The United Kingdom's National Health Service (HNS) is building its next generation central database (Spine2) on open source components, including distributed database management system Riak, the British IT news site Register reports.

Basho, the US company developing Riak, on Tuesday announced it is working with the NHS. In a statement, the company said: "Inspired by the Danish Health Authority, which has already set up an agile, national record system based on the Riak database, the NHS had confidence that Basho's database would be suitable for its needs. The Spine2 project is currently in the last phases of testing and is due to go live in early 2014."

Enterprise open source

The Spine database systems is used to connect the 27,000 primary and secondary health care sites, pharmacies, opticians, dentists and education and training establishments in the UK.

NHS itself announced the choice for Riak in a presentation for suppliers, in April this year. NHS representatives explained that Spine2 would be built on "enterprise open source software". One of the motivations is the "drive by the Cabinet Office and Treasury to do things differently".

It will also use the webserver Tornado and data structure server Redis, both open source. According to a blog post published by Forrester, a consultancy, the system will also use the open source message broker RabbitMQ.


More information:

Basho announcement
Register news item
Forrester blog post
About Spine2
Spine 2 - Core Supplier Workshop presentation (pdf)
About Spine

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