Health Insurance steps up to request an independent call for tenders

The soap opera Health Data Hub, named after this large platform which must bring together most of the health data of the French, continues to spill ink and give the government a hard time. Already mired in a first controversy over the hosting of this data – entrusted to the American Microsoft and this without a call for tenders -, the government project had then discreetly withdrawn at the end of the year its application for authorization to operate from the National Commission for IT and Liberties (CNIL). This week, it is Health Insurance’s turn to ask again for a “call for tenders with the establishment of an independent commission.”

“Depreciated” by the controversy, the Health Data Hub needs “a few safeguards to regain confidence”, estimates the Council of the National Health Insurance Fund (Cnam) in a notice published Thursday. This choice was made in the summer of 2019 “without a call for tenders” and “in relative urgency”, despite the “risk of unauthorized access to data” from the United States, she underlines.

Stoppage for the Health Data Hub, the controversial platform that centralizes French health data

The Health Data Hub was born with promulgation of the law on the “transformation of the health system” in July 2019. “The HDH replaces an existing structure, the National Health Data System, with two main modifications: a wide expansion of the data collected and easier access, in particular for the private sector (GAFAM, “medtechs”, start-ups, insurers, etc.), to the latter”, denounced the think tank for fundamental freedoms in the era of digital Quadrature of the Net.

For its part, Health Insurance, which recalls its “full support” for the project, has however never digested the choice of the American giant Microsoft to host this public platform supposed to bring together all the health data of the French, in order to facilitate research. medical.

No equivalent French solution

For Cédric O, the Secretary of State for the Digital Transition, Microsoft was quite simply the only player capable of hosting such sensitive data in a secure manner, and of running encryption algorithms. machine learning (a method of artificial intelligence) powerful enough.

To repatriate the Health Data Hub on “a sovereign technological platform”, the Cnam Council requests a transparent selection.

To get out of this quagmire, the state thought it had found a miracle solution in 2021: its strategy “cloud in the center”, unveiled last May. But this faces several obstacles.

Avoid failure before the election

The public authorities should thus “make public” the list of “nine eligible hosting solutions” identified, and “commit to a precise migration schedule”.

Above all, it will be necessary “to proceed with a call for tenders following an independent audit” and “to publish the exhaustive specifications”.

Following the withdrawal of the request to the CNIL, the project has been on hold since the end of December. This temporary withdrawal is justified by technical reasons, but it also makes it possible to avoid a disavowal on this sensitive subject in the middle of the presidential campaign.

(With AFP)