The replacement for the NHS data Spine is being built around a distributed, open source database from US company Basho.

EHI reported in April that the replacement for the Spine, known as Spine2, would be built using open source components and that it should go-live this autumn.

A statement issued yesterday, saying that Spine2 would be built on the Riak database, also said it is now in supplier testing and due to go-live next year. It is being built by Leeds firm BJSS.

In a statement, Mark Pullan, BJSS chief software engineer for the Spine2 project said: "BJSS was commissioned in 2012 by the Health and Social Care Information Centre to build a replacement for the NHS Spine.

"As part of the engagement, the combined BJSS and HSCIC development team has worked closely with Basho on the project."

He added that Riak had been chosen because of its "resilience and availability, achieved through its distributed and masterless design."

The Danish Health Authority has set up a national record system based on Riak, which is a NoSQL database. According to the Basho website, Riak is also used by thousands of companies worldwide, including a quarter of Fortune 50 companies.

NoSQL databases provide a simpler way of storing and retrieving data than traditional relational databases.

In another statement, the company said that one of the benefits to the NHS would be that "NHS developers will be able to make changes to Spine2 without needing burdensome and expensive systems integrators.

"This will dramatically cut down the time taken to implement new features."

The company’s statement says that at its peak, the Spine1 was managed by more than 2,000 staff and supported by 1,000 servers. Basho’s website says it employs around 110 people.

The original NHS data Spine had cost more than £1 billion to build and manage by March 2012. The cost of Spine2 is said to be significantly less.