Connected healthcare for the UK Ministry of Defence

CORTISONE’s mission is information advantage for Defence Medical Services to improve patient outcomes while maximizing resource efficiency and the number of service personnel fit for role.

At a glance

Atos is working in partnership to transform healthcare information systems to support evidence-based patient-centric healthcare for the UK armed forces.


CORTISONE integrates people, processes, systems and data to help:

  • Improve clinical outcomes and patient experiences
  • Optimize the use of medical and financial resources
  • Maximize the numbers of personnel fit for deployment.

About Defence Medical Services

Part of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), Defence Medical Services (DMS) comprises the Royal Navy Medical Service, Army Medical Service, the Royal Air Force Medical Service and the Headquarters DMS Group. Its primary role is to promote, protect and restore the health of the UK armed forces to ensure that they are ready and medically fit to go where they are required in the UK and throughout the world.

Right information, right person, right time

DMS service personnel and civilians work side by side to provide services that include primary healthcare, dental care, rehabilitation, occupational medicine, community mental healthcare, emergency care and specialist medical care. They need the right information, in the right format, at the right time to deliver safe, effective and efficient healthcare to all patients. To achieve this, DMS identified requirements to:

  • Improve information-sharing along the chain of command with the National Health Service (NHS) and other organizations, and with partners and allies
  • Integrate and leverage clinical and other data from a wide range of sources, systems and devices.

The MoD established the CORTISONE Programme to deliver a sustainable, integrated, cohesive and enduring information capability to support evidence-based, patient-centric healthcare for all its personnel. In 2018, Atos was engaged to work in close collaboration with the MoD, DMS and other partners to design, develop and deliver this new capability.

A new healthcare ecosystem

At the heart of the new DMS information capability is an ecosystem of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) clinical systems that deliver the objectives of the CORTISONE Programme.

Atos’s first tasks were to:

  • Produce a high-level design for the entire ecosystem
  • Create a roadmap detailing all the building blocks
  • Provide Healthcare IT market insight and implementation experience

These were critical components of the business case for CORTISONE, which was approved in 2018 by the MoD’s Strategic Command to proceed to delivery.

In 2019, following a competitive bid, the MoD chose Atos as its delivery partner to design, develop and deliver the new CORTISONE ecosystem.

End-to-end integration and future-proof interoperability

Atos implemented a reusable platform-based approach, adapting civilian and healthcare technology to DMS requirements. The team established and has followed strong principles to use COTS systems and open standards. This approach means that additional systems and services can be easily and seamlessly added incrementally.

The first release of the platform is due to go live in early Autumn 2021, providing a sophisticated Enterprise Master Patient Index, Healthcare Provider Directory and the ecosystem Healthcare Integration Platform. This will be followed by the CORTISONE Portal & Clinical Record Viewer and the new Primary Medical Care Service in 2022.

With a frictionless flow of data between systems and devices, CORTISONE is one of the first platforms to use the UK MODCloud leveraging both Azure and AWS. Atos is sharing and leveraging its learning on the journey to cloud for other MoD programs.

Agile working and collaboration

Using a hybrid approach of scaled agile with more traditional program milestones and dependencies, Atos blends a top-down roadmap, which provides visibility for senior stakeholders, with bottom-up use of agile for teams to plan and optimize delivery.

Working closely with Defence Digital and other partners, Atos:

  • Maintained and developed the overall solution architecture, artefacts and technical environments
  • Designed and delivered the integration of the components
  • Installed and configured COTS products
  • Enabled and supported data management
  • Provided technical advice and product evaluation.

And, the team was successful in ensuring that Covid-19 has had little impact on pace of delivery, despite the rapid shift to remote working.

Unleashing the power of data

Connecting the MoD healthcare ecosystem in real time, the CORTISONE platform will enable DMS to:

  • Deliver safer patient care
  • Improve integration with the four Home Countries’ National Health Services and other organizations
  • Enhance operational medical situational awareness and monitoring of clinical effectiveness
  • Strengthen healthcare information governance and assurance
  • Enrich user-led data exploitation and data for research.

What next?

Atos is working in partnership to design and deliver the CORTISONE platform and services for deployed settings including ships, field hospitals and dismounted medics.

Atos and partners are working with Defence Primary Healthcare as part of the Defence Healthcare Delivery Optimisation program to design a new business operating model and the associated new digital services that will work with the CORTISONE platform.

CORTISONE is a platform for ongoing innovation and digital transformation of health and wellbeing for the UK armed forces. This platform-based approach to transforming healthcare information services can also be applied for other defense organizations around the world.

CORTISONE partners


Why Atos for defense platforms

Atos is a core supplier to defense industry, working in partnership to deliver digital mission advantage to defense and security organizations around the world. We integrate and exploit the digital backbones that are critical to the future of defense. Connecting sensors, effectors and decision-makers across multiple domains, we build platforms that are secure, scalable, interoperable and future-proof. Mission outcomes are integrated, processes are optimized and leading-edge civilian and defense technologies and apps can be rapidly adopted and scaled.

Learn more

Atos delivery partners

More client stories

Interested in our solutions?