Ripple Foundation is partnering with the Discovery Data Service (DDS) and driving success for the NHS by transforming digital healthcare and contributing to the interoperability agenda.  The cultural fit of working collaboratively with open source solutions has allowed the development and delivery of innovative solutions.

The DDS uses a publish and subscribe model. Subscribers are health and care organisations who express an interest in accessing a subset of data for a particular purpose. Publishers are health and care provider organisations who control their data and agree to publish their data once, in a way that can be accessed by many subscribers. Only systems can interact with the data service; users do not directly interact with the service and can only obtain data through the system(s) of their choice.

Regionally based data sharing agreements match multiple publishers to one or more subscribers for particular pre-agreed purposes. Data cannot be provided without adherence to a set of rules derived from the data sharing agreement. The data service receives data from a number of publisher systems; the data is either sent automatically or transmitted on request by the service. The data within the service remains under the direct control of the data controllers with each item of data stamped by the data controller. The data is then converted to a common format that is directly compatible with FHIR and Snomed-CT. Depending on the data sharing rules, prior to transmission, the service links the data at a patient level by NHS number. A subset of the data, for example a cohort of patients, is then made available to subscriber systems. Data is provided either in an identifiable form for direct care, or is de-identified for secondary uses, depending on the agreement. Person level consent is managed according to GDPR and Caldicott policies.

The DDS team is working with the Ripple Foundation to deliver patient level data from a single source, in order to populate the Helm Patient Portal.

For more information see

It was a great pleasure to meet the Health Secretary on his recent visit to Leeds after launching his new “tech vision” for the health service. I met Matt Hancock MP at the ODI in the centre of Leeds on Friday 19 October 2018 and talked him through our development for Helm – an open platform solution for a person held record.

I was able to share with him the UI/UX experience of Helm as it looks right now and was pleased to hear very positive responses both from the Health Secretary and his Chief Technology Advisor, Hadley Beeman.  Helm has been in development for a number of months to ensure that we’ve got strong foundations for people accessing and contributing to their own health and wellbeing information. It has involved passionate work from a number of highly experienced technical people as well as clinically direction from Dr Tony Shannon, along with strong creative development from Simon Gamester.


Helm benefits from a number of innovative technologies supported by Ripple Foundation, namely, PulseTile, QEWD.js and EtherCIS and is underpinned by the internationally leading open standard for healthcare,  openEHR.  It also conforms to the well received paper “Defining an Open Platform” by Apperta Foundation.  

The exciting journey of Helm being tested by people in Leeds starts very shortly.  People are at the heart of this product and they will now lead the way in its future development.  Users of Helm will be able to tell us what works and what doesn’t, what would be useful, what is missing and Ripple Foundation is very excited to be a large part of this new innovation with the city of Leeds, led by Leeds City Council.  The plans for Helm are for rapid expansion into the Yorkshire and Humber region. We will keep posting news on the Ripple Foundation website but do get in touch if you would like to understand more about our open platform approach for addressing some of the issues faced by Health IT.  

Thank you to ODI Leeds for supplying the photos taken during the session with the Health Secretary.

By Phil Barrett


Ripple Foundation