VA open to alternatives to Palantir for coronavirus tracking

VA and HHS quickly awarded multimillion-dollar contracts to the Silicon Valley company for its data services at the pandemic's outset citing urgency.
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The Department of Veterans Affairs wants to know of alternatives to the Palantir software it’s using to integrate and analyze data on the coronavirus pandemic in near real time.

VA needs a commercial off-the-shelf solution allowing the Veterans Health Administration to track and analyze COVID-19 hotspots. But the agency doesn’t know of any licenses besides Palantir Gotham that can securely integrate data in any format, according to a request for information (RFI) issued Tuesday.

The decision to possibly switch up cloud-based software-as-a-service providers comes after agencies like VA and the Department of Health and Human Services quickly awarded multimillion-dollar contracts to the Silicon Valley company for its data services, citing the “unusual and compelling urgency” of coronavirus recovery.

VA announced its $5 million Palantir award in May. HHS awarded two contracts totaling $24.9 million to Palantir in April for Gotham and cloud platform implementation, which helped stand up the White House‘s coronavirus insights system HHS Protect.


VHA operates within 1,243 facilities nationally, and the VA Data Integration and Analytics Platform compiles data on patient care, hospital capacity, medical supply inventory, diagnostic tests, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracking. Any solution that replaces Palantir’s would need to be able to incorporate the data it’s already analyzed.

VA seeks interoperable services that can be deployed in a day and quickly configured for its analysts to efficiently create data visualizations and workflows. Solutions must preserve data ownership, allowing the owners to control security and access and audit use.

RFI respondents have until Sept. 11 to submit alternative platforms for VA’s consideration.

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