A health startup founder wants the NHS to open up its tender process after opaque deals

Ada Health wants the NHS to be more transparent after controversial deal with Google DeepMind.

Ada Health cofounder and CEO.play Ada Health cofounder and CEO.

(Ada)

Ada Health, a fast-growing healthcare startup with 100 staff across Berlin and London, believes that the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) should be more transparent about how it works with technology companies.

Daniel Nathrath, cofounder and CEO of the startup, which aims to diagnose people’s conditions through an app underpinned by artificial intelligence (AI), told Business Insider on Thursday that the NHS should open up its tender process.

“I admire the NHS but for a startup like us it’s not so easy for us to understand the decision-making processes,” he said at the Tech Open Air conference in Berlin.

His comments come after Google DeepMind and rival app Babylon Health announced a number of partnerships across the NHS.

“Sometimes you seen suddenly the NHS make a deal with someone and you wonder how that happened,” said Nathrath. “I think it would be good and important actually to open deals to a public tender.”

He added: “I would really love for them to test the products and compare results and for it to be a very transparent process.”

Working with the NHS can be incredibly lucrative for technology companies of all sizes due to its sheer scale. In England, the NHS employs over a million people and the institution is currently trying to digitise many of its services.

But NHS deals can also be problematic, especially when patient data is involved.

The first deal that the NHS did with Google DeepMind was deemed to be illegal by the UK data regulator earlier this month. The Information Commissioner’s Office ruled that the Royal Free London NHS Trust had given Google DeepMind access to too much patient information to help it test a kidney monitoring app called Streams.

NHS England did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

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