CDC expands Palantir’s non-COVID disease surveillance contract again

Palantir continues to modernize the CDC's data infrastructure to perform genomic sequencing of disease variants and track them and their outcomes.
The David J. Sencer CDC Museum in Atlanta, Ga. (CDC photo)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention once again extended and expanded a contract with Palantir Technologies to apply its outbreak response and disease surveillance solution to more respiratory diseases.

Palantir will continue to modernize the Data Collation and Integration for Public Health Event Response (DCIPHER) environment, built on its Foundry platform, to ensure CDC has the infrastructure necessary to perform genomic sequencing of variants and track them and their outcomes.

DCIPHER is one of Palantir’s longest-running public health software partnerships, having run more than a decade, and influenced its COVID-19 pandemic response support — despite being a separate initiative encompassing food-borne outbreaks, Ebola, anthrax management and bacterial special pathogens.

“Beyond COVID, by incorporating innovative genomic workflows into traditional public health surveillance, CDC is building upon its foundational investments in a modernized technology infrastructure,” said Dr. William Kassler, chief medical officer for U.S. government at Palantir, in an April 15 announcement.


The CDC is increasingly investing in modular technology that can apply COVID-19 use cases to other diseases and incorporate granular demographic data from multiple sources to help improve health equity in underserved communities, according to a person with knowledge of the contract.

Palantir declined to disclose the length or value of the contract extension, but it builds on the tech company’s wastewater surveillance work with CDC, which provides a picture of diseases affecting particular communities.

DCIPHER is currently used by the System for Enteric Disease Response, Investigation and Coordination; National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases; and National Wastewater Surveillance System within the CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases. The Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration also use DCIPHER, as did several military branches to mitigate COVID-19’s impact.

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