Data hosting

1 February 2021

Primary Health Insights is a national data storage and analytics system designed to host the deidentified primary care data of Primary Health Networks (PHNs).  It brings together data governance, advanced analytics, an industry leading secure data platform and a community of primary health informatics experts across the PHNs to support general practices in using their data.

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is leading the development and implementation of the system on behalf of all PHNs.  The project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

WAPHA agreed to be the lead PHN for this initiative in April 2019. Since then, WAPHA has been working closely with other PHNs nationwide to design and build a secure storage platform for PHN data and to develop rigorous standards for data governance to accompany implementation of the platform. Participation by PHNs is voluntary, but the overwhelming majority are expected to sign on.

The platform is being built using Microsoft Azure public cloud technology, with each participating PHN having its own secure “lock-box” for the hosting of their own data, with complete control over access to and use of the data. Security and PHN data sovereignty have been paramount considerations when designing the platform.

In late August 2020, the project transitioned from a platform development phase to a pilot phase. WAPHA established its own secure “lock-box” on the Primary Health Insights platform, tested the platform’s capability and has migrated its own data into this environment. This includes the data that was routinely collected from WA general practices and previously stored by Curtin University on behalf of the WAPHA.  This data has been erased from the University’s servers to the full extent that is technically practicable.

Following successful evaluation of the pilot, the roll out of the platform to other PHNs has commenced and is expected to be completed in March 2021.