Member News: NHS Digital launches NHS login with AWS
NHS Digital launched NHS login, a serverless identity platform to facilitate access to a range of healthcare apps for residents in England, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) amongst other suppliers. Using the AWS Cloud, NHS Digital achieved scale, high availability, and security for citizens accessing these services. They also helped users access NHS services quicker and more simply. NHS login is one of a number of services NHS Digital are hosting on the cloud as part of the UK government’s Cloud First policy.
The National Health Service (NHS) is the United Kingdom’s (UK) publicly funded healthcare system that everyone living in the UK can use, with no cost at the point of care. NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner to the health and social care system. NHS Digital uses information and digital technology to transform how care is commissioned and delivered, and to improve care outcomes.
NHS login is an identity platform that allows citizens in England to register, log in, and access a range of healthcare apps, including the NHS app. The platform gives users a simple and secure way to identify themselves and to link their healthcare record using their NHS number. Through NHS login, users are able to access a wide range of services including general practice (GP) appointments and prescriptions, quicker and easier.
To deliver NHS login, NHS Digital required scale, high performance, high reliability, cost efficiency, and security. They engaged AWS to help develop the identity platform. NHS login is a fully serverless solution, allowing NHS login to respond to unpredictable spikes in demand, using Amazon Cognito, Amazon API Gateway, AWS Lambda, Amazon Rekognition and Amazon DynamoDB. NHS Digital takes advantage of the pay-per-use model, making use of multiple development environments to test new features in parallel, delivering business value without having to manage servers. NHS Digital also used AWS continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) tooling, such as AWS CodeBuild, AWS CodeDeploy, AWS CodePipeline, and AWS CloudFormation. NHS login is serverless throughout its entire software development life cycle (SDLC).
The COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for NHS login, and the AWS Cloud helped them scale to meet that demand. Currently, NHS login has over 17 million verified users, and provides access for all citizens in England to register and log in. NHS login has seen a 660% increase in verified identities over the course of the year, from 238,638 in January 2020 to 1,815,220 in December 2020. In June 2021, NHS login had an average of 108,000 individual users registering for the service, and 774,000 users accessing healthcare applications using their NHS login account in the month, demonstrating its ability to scale to demand in the cloud. NHS login currently integrates with more than 40 internal and external services, including myGP, e-RS, Patient Knows Best, and more services are applying to integrate or test their service in the sandpit environment.
NHS Digital previously worked with AWS on the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS), a tool for patients to choose their first hospital or clinical appointment with a specialist, and the NHS 111 Directory of Services (DoS), a central directory that connects users with the most relevant urgent care services. E-RS and DoS were the first two major NHS systems to complete migrations to the cloud, and NHS login is among the services built in the cloud.