Synanetics Case Study Helm


Helm – Person Held Record

Person held records (PHRs) offer many benefits to individuals in both health outcomes and experience. Using insights gained from extensive research with people and the workforce in Leeds, Leeds City Council and local NHS organisations commissioned the re-development of the Helm PHR platform.  They looked for a partner who shared their vision for interoperability and could lead open standards implementation. 

With Synanetics help Helm has become one of a few open-source, FHIR-based person held records in the UK, interoperable with local and regional systems.  It is an innovative platform, enabling people to take an active role in their health and care management. 


To achieve the Leeds vision, we applied our experience of working with FHIR and open standards and used the canvas/ panel standard which we created to enable joined up information sharing and personalisation.  

Panels are based on web components which allow them to be developed in different technologies and coexist within the same user interface. For Helm this meant that different system vendors could add their panels enabling users to interact with them in one place. Canvas is used to provide context for panels which enable Helm users to individualise their Helm record.

Helm technology is reusable across different localities and care pathways and has been used to deliver the internationally recognised IPS standard, capture ‘About Me’ information and share self-prescribed medications.


I have really enjoyed working with Synanetics – their ability to work in an agile manner, listen, respond and react to accommodate evolving requirements has been a real positive. They bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise and have a willingness to work flexibly in a model which aligns well with the NHS principles. They share our passion for placing the patient at the heart of their care and supporting this with an innovative use of technology.

Dr Alistair Walling, Clinical Lead for Digital Primary Care, North East and Yorkshire Region, NHS England & NHS Improvement






  • Application of Canvas/Panel standard offering interoperability, individualisation, and scalability
  • FHIR-based messaging allowing integration with Shared Care Record and local systems
  • Integration into the Yorkshire and Humber Care Record offering bi-directional data flow
  • Ability to manage a person’s consent for data sharing e.g. research
  • Integration with NHS login – allowing online user authentication and easy access to Helm and the NHS App
  • International Patient Summary standard application
  • Using internationally recognised agile methodology
  • Introduced a new capability to share and receive information from regional health and care systems
  • Working in partnership with NHS Transformation Directorate and the NHS App team on both new capability and piloting new solutions
  • Helm architecture has been updated to align to emerging technologies – allowing more organisations to surface information in Helm without having to develop an additional integration capabilities


  • Human-centred design approach
  • Lift and shift approach – Helm can be integrated with any shared care record if it is FHIR compliant
  • Delivering a person held record that the end user can individualise to their own needs
  • Provide the best value and outcomes for users because we build what is requested
  • Piloting a contact update feature allowing users to update their phone numbers and email addresses directly into the nationally held demographic record
  • Introduced a new sign-up process enabling wider roll out
  • All the design and engagement work is aligned with best practices and service standards maintained by the Government Digital Service (GDS)