Home Fitness Former NHSX director of AI Indra Joshi joins Palantir Technologies

Former NHSX director of AI Indra Joshi joins Palantir Technologies

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Former NHSX director of AI Indra Joshi joins Palantir Technologies

Former NHSX director of artificial intelligence (AI), Indra Joshi is reported to have joined US data analytics giant Palantir Technologies.

Joshi quit the role on 31 March 2022, writing on LinkedIn: “After five rewarding years at NHS England and setting up the NHS AI Lab, it’s time to take a break before moving on to my next challenge.”

During her time at NHSX she directed NHS AI Lab, a PS250m investment aiming to enable the development and deployment of ethical and effective AI-driven technologies into the UK health and care system.

Palantir said that Joshi will be working with customers to “help improve their operations, transform their businesses .”

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WHY IT MATERS

Joshi’s appointment has raised concerns about a conflict of interest, as it coincides with NHS England’s procurement of a federated data platform (FDP) contract, which Palantir is competing for.

NHSE recently published a prior information notice on the FDP for potential suppliers, which estimated its procurement value at PS240 million. It is intended to serve as “an ecosystem for technologies and services” that will be an “essential enabler of transformational improvements in the NHS”.

THE BIGGER CONTEXT

Palantir currently works with the NHS in order to address elective care list issues. Its Foundry operating system began roll-out across 30 hospital trusts in March, following a pilot at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Trust.

The firm worked with NHSE, alongside Microsoft and Amazon to develop a data platform informing the COVID-19 response. However privacy organisations raised concerns about Palantir’s involvement, due to the company’s past provision of espionage tools and work with the US immigration service on tracking migrants.

The UK government released the contracts in June 2020 after openDemocracy and tech-justice firm Foxglove sent legal letters demanding transparency about the agreements.

Last year tech-justice firm Foxglove issued a lawsuit on behalf of openDemocracy over the PS23.5 million NHS data deal with Palantir.

ON THE RECORD

A Palantir spokesperson said: “We are delighted that Indra has agreed to join the team, which we are aiming to grow by 250 in the UK this year. Indra is an expert in cutting-edge technology and its real-world applications. Indra has been instrumental in establishing standards for data governance and AI best practices with the UK as well as international organizations.

“Indra is a Palantir customer that will help to improve and transform businesses. We are proud of the work we have done with NHS over the last two years in response to the COVID-19 crisis, which included helping to power the NHS’ COVID-19 vaccination programme. “

A spokesperson for the NHS stated that all employees must follow stringent post-employment regulations, including not being allowed for six months to influence or lobby for another employer .”

Jim Killock, Executive Director at the Privacy and Digital Rights organization, the Open Rights Group said that the “revolving door” between Palantir and the NHS is extremely concerning. Palantir is not a trusted company and should not be relied upon by the NHS as a supplier. Palantir’s ambitious plans as demonstrated by the recruitment of this top NHS executive are very worrying.”

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