Kainos and Our Future Health have extended their strategic digital delivery partnership aimed at advancing the UK’s largest health research programme.

Our Future Health’s goal is to sign up five million volunteers from diverse backgrounds to gain a comprehensive understanding of what makes some people more likely to develop a disease. With this knowledge, it hopes to revolutionise disease prevention, early detection and treatment, by supporting research by academic, charity and commercial researchers.

To date, over a million people have consented to participate, having completed a questionnaire, provided a blood sample and some physical measurements and agreed that Our Future Health may link to their health records securely.

Our Future Health originally contracted Kainos in 2021 to develop, trial and launch the participant portal and applications for clinical staff and support services, using Microsoft Azure Cloud service and Dynamics CRM. In 2023, the ability for people to participate was made even easier thanks to the integration of a scalable solution allowing blood donors to use their regular appointments with NHS Blood and Transplant to join the programme.

With the extension of the partnership, Kainos will continue to facilitate the programme’s portal for registering and onboarding volunteers, providing access to digital applications for clinicians.

Marko Balabanovic, chief technology officer, Our Future Health, said: “Kainos has been a supplier for Our Future Health from the start and they have helped us to build some of the core infrastructure that enables volunteers to join the programme. This includes work to connect with other recruitment partners, such as Acacium and Boots, and also NHS Blood and Transplant.

“Kainos’ experience in building infrastructure systems at scale has been invaluable in our recruitment journey to date.”

As part of the programme, volunteers are offered information about their own health, including their blood pressure and cholesterol levels. As Our Future Health continues to strive towards reaching its goal of five million volunteers, it will also look to estimate personal disease risk information, offering health feedback to volunteers who wish to receive it in the near future.

John Smith, head of healthcare, Kainos, said: “Our Future Health is a leader in health research, and we are thrilled to continue our strategic partnership with them as they shape the future of disease prevention and treatment. We’re also proud to be part of a programme that so clearly demonstrates how the delivery of digital services is transforming healthcare and having a meaningful impact to the lives of millions across the UK.”

Last November saw another health research programme make headlines, when UK Biobank was able to release the world’s largest single set of genome sequencing data, thanks to half a million participants in its health research work.