Cerner senior exec: Amazon cloud partnership is driving Cerner’s shift to change into digital platform firm


As a part of a brand new cope with Amazon, Cerner is letting customers of Amazon’s new Halo health tracker share wearable information instantly with their suppliers. It is only one instance of how the well being IT firm is increasing past its conventional medical data enterprise as a part of a broader strategic partnership with Amazon.

A 12 months in the past, Cerner introduced a collaboration with Amazon’s cloud enterprise, Amazon Internet Companies (AWS). Cerner plans to faucet into Amazon’s experience in buyer expertise and its synthetic intelligence capabilities to drive future progress for its well being IT enterprise.

The tie-up with Amazon consists of migrating most of the well being IT firm’s options to the general public cloud.

However, extra broadly, it is also driving Cerner’s strategic shift from being an EHR-centric firm to a digital platform group, based on Dan Devers, Cerner’s senior vp of cloud technique.

“Transferring ahead, I believe Cerner will look extra like a well being platform firm and fewer like an EHR firm. As you play out the pattern in healthcare, I see Cerner very a lot working on the well being community stage, so past the enterprise of a single well being system. Given the facility of the cloud and the work we’re doing, I see Cerner having way more relevance into broader networks and offering nationwide capabilities,” Devers informed Fierce Healthcare in a current interview.

For Amazon, the collaboration supplies a foothold within the healthcare business at important scale. 

Cerner, which had $5.7 billion in annual income final 12 months, instructions about 26% of the digital well being report (EHR) market, and its merchandise are utilized in greater than 27,000 services all over the world. Throughout Cerner’s second-quarter earnings name in July, Cerner CEO Brent Shafer stated the corporate’s healthcare operations and information platforms enterprise was on tempo for 30% progress in 2020.

RELATED: Cerner’s increasing partnership with Amazon shall be key to its 2020 progress technique

Devers, who has labored at Cerner for 12 years, spoke with Fierce Healthcare about how the corporate is tapping into Amazon’s cloud and AI experience and doable tie-ups with Amazon’s different healthcare companies, akin to Haven and PillPack.

Fierce Healthcare: Why did Cerner wish to accomplice with Amazon Internet Companies?

Dan Devers: Initially, healthcare as an business has the flexibility to be reworked by way of the cloud like different industries. That was our central proposition. Public cloud will allow us to create worth for our purchasers, because it has performed out in different industries.

Should you take a look at issues like the flexibility to hurry up innovation, we’re leveraging these public cloud companies to get improvements out to our purchasers extra quickly. However, finally, what drew us to AWS was their market management and the way in which they’re seen within the healthcare business round stability, safety, privateness and reliability.

RELATED: Cerner faucets Amazon Internet Companies to ramp up healthcare AI capabilities, predictive expertise

FH: How are you working with AWS to leverage cloud computing and machine studying to reinforce your expertise capabilities?

DD:  We recognized that we actually want an ecosystem that may permit Cerner and our purchasers to do machine studying and information science at scale. We labored on this ecosystem collectively to deal with a number of wants. One, it creates a dependable, reproducible pipeline to create fashions. It additionally meets the necessity for widespread information administration to take the machine studying fashions and infuse it in medical workflows.

Through the pandemic, we labored with AWS to face up our cloud-based Command Heart dashboard to assist healthcare suppliers higher monitor crucial sources akin to mattress utilization and ICU occupancy with real-time information. That dashboard makes use of predictive fashions to assist well being programs determine the place they would want to deploy workers and sources subsequent.

The affect of the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the necessity for well being system operations capabilities, We’ve seen further demand from well being programs round telehealth, and that has accelerated our cloud technique to quickly spin up and scale a service in a fashion that you just couldn’t function by yourself {hardware}. Well being programs are seeing the worth of Cerner internet hosting their platform or AWS internet hosting their platform to get them out of that enterprise and allow them to concentrate on offering care.

FH: How is Cerner ramping up its healthcare AI capabilities and predictive expertise instruments?

DD: Probably the most distinguished instance of the work we’re doing with AWS round AI is our digital medical scribe that leverages Amazon Transcribe Medical. That isn’t a digital dictation resolution. What we’re growing is seen because the holy grail—understanding the interplay between supplier and affected person simply by listening to that interplay and figuring out ideas which can be related in that forwards and backwards. Then take these ideas and have a medical understanding to pre-populate the EHRs. That is a chance to deliver time again to clinicians in order that they spend extra time with sufferers and fewer within the EHRs. 

We’re additionally leveraging AWS as a part of our shopper framework to allow Cerner to plug in third-party capabilities. We wish to construct that have that buyers demand, that have that they’ve on iOS or Android apps and that they now anticipate when digitally interacting with healthcare suppliers.

The chance to actually enhance the experiences of not solely clinicians but additionally customers is tremendously thrilling. Healthcare has not achieved the very best job of making shopper experiences.

RELATED: Cerner, Amazon Internet Companies accomplice on new cloud-based cognitive well being platform

FH: How will your partnership tie in with Amazon’s different work in healthcare akin to Haven, its healthcare firm fashioned with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway, and its PillPack on-line pharmacy?

DD: As a part of this strategic collaboration settlement between Amazon, AWS and Cerner, we could have visibility to alternatives throughout their organizations. We’re contemplating a variety of totally different initiatives with one another. We’re wanting broadly throughout a variety of numerous well being initiatives that AWS and Amazon are concerned in.

We’re actually evaluating all of the alternatives the place it is smart to collaborate with Amazon, and there are merchandise in quite a few phases of this course of.


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