Fast-growing cloud services specialist UKCloud has launched a new dedicated healthcare division UKCloud Health.

The company said the new dedicated health business will provide an open, collaborative and UK sovereign public cloud platform specifically for the healthcare industry, supporting health and care providers, research and life sciences and pharmaceuticals.

The new business launched yesterday with a community of 29 partners and 30 customers, including Genomics England and the Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

“To date, we’ve focused on developing a unique cloud platform exclusively to meet the needs of the UK public sector,” said Simon Hansford, CEO of UKCloud. The company hosts over 200 public sector clients and projects.

He added: “We’re now looking to replicate our business model with a new division exclusively focused on the healthcare sector, where cloud adoption rates are typically impeded by a host of different challenges.”

Speaking yesterday at the launch at the Royal Society of Medicine in London, Hansford said that UKCloud Health would provide the level of customisation and responsiveness that big American cloud vendors “either can’t or aren’t interested in providing”.

Hansford said that the openness and interoperability of UKCloud’s Health platform, and focus on health and life sciences, were key differentiators.

Key clients, include Genomics England, currently engaged in the 100,000 genome project, where each sequenced genome requires over 250 Gigabytes of storage.  A source close to the project told Digital Health News that just storing the full 100,000 genomes would require an estimated 20 Petabytes.

Hansford explained: “We believe that providing a central, secure, open and collaborative cloud platform, where all of this data can be stored and appropriately shared, will provide a great deal of value to the healthcare industry as a whole.”

Some 39 companies are already on the UKCloud Health platform, ranging from start-ups such as Babylon Health and Open Medical, to big international firms such as Cap Gemini and Siemens Healthineers.

Hansford said at the launch that UKCloud Health was working to ensure that the platform was fully compliant with US HIPAA data privacy regulations, which would make it easier for UK companies to sell into the US healthcare market.

To coincide with the launch UKCloud Health published research showing that 75% of UK adults are concerned about the protection of their personal data, including medical records, by companies and public services.

The research also found that 82% of British adults believe that the government should seek permission before storing and processing personal data with non-UK businesses.

Hansford commented: “There is undoubtedly a significant trust issue when it comes to the public perception of the security of highly sensitive data in the cloud”.

“We pride ourselves on offering the highest possible levels of assurance and believe the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach offered by US headquartered generalist cloud platforms is not appropriate for specialised sectors such as healthcare, where issues of trust, privacy and interoperability are particularly important.”

UKCloud has been a darling of the UK teach scene, becoming one of the fastest growing UK tech companies, recently winning the Queens Award for Industry.  High profile investors in the company include the world’s top-ranked tennis player Andy Murray, and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason.