Tech firm Palantir is known for supplying controversial data-sifting software to government agencies. The Denver, Colorado-based company, which was co-founded by prominent Trump supporter Peter Thiel in 2003, offers software applications designed for integrating, visualizing, analyzing data, and fighting fraud.
Though, it now seems that the tech company is branching out into other industries including life sciences and manufacturing, with a specific focus on federal health work.
Now Palantir has unveiled a new segment of the company dubbed Palantir Foundry which, according to its website, unlocks “the potential of health data, turning data into insights to improve patient lives and the efficiency of healthcare delivery.”
Palantir’s Foundry platform has played a significant role in the U.S. government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as private companies’ handling of essential supply chains.
Clients of Palantir Foundry include pharmaceutical companies Merck and Sanofi, according to a Palantir spokesperson, and the company is increasingly focusing on developing its artificial intelligence and machine learning modeling capabilities.
Since going public in September, the company has tried to diversify its customer base and revenue for long-term success. However, its reputation is difficult to shake off.
"We've been investing in platform features that are critical for life sciences work, especially around patient data privacy and security," Kathleen McMahon, a lead for Palantir's Healthcare and Life Sciences group, told Insider in a statement. "The scale and variety of biomedical data, coupled with new, cross-institution collaborations, makes data governance a complex topic for our clients. Our platform helps them ensure data use is necessary and proportionate for research objectives."
Its announcement for Foundry comes just two weeks after Palantir reveal that it made a $90 million deal with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which is responsible for the country’s nuclear weapons.
However, it is clear that Palantir still has its sights set on the healthcare industry. The National Institutes of Health has recently begun using Palantir’s platform to combine data sets from 50 different academic groups that it funds in ways that would have been cumbersome without the software. In December 2020, the company also announced that it had signed a $44.4 million deal with the Food and Drug Administration, helping the FDA to review drugs, including those developed for COVID-19 treatment, and assess the safety of other FDA-regulated health products like hand sanitizer.