Amazon Web Services ( AWS / Cloud ) In Talks With EHR / EMR Healthcare Data Giant Cerner
Based on insights from management consulting leader PwC; “Amazon does have the expertise that makes it a natural candidate to look for ideas that would reform the U.S. health care industry as it tries to control costs”
It is no secret Amazon ( NASDAQ: AMZN ) has been diligently expanding its presence in the healthcare sector. Their activities include obtaining pharmacy wholesaling licenses in at least 12 states and expanding the number of medical products well beyond those typically found in the medicine cabinets of consumers worldwide. Late in November word got out that Amazon and Cerner were in latter phases of discussion regarding more advanced initiatives involving Cloud and healthcare technology applications.
Amazon and Cerner have worked together on other healthcare data management / storage deals in the past
This new arrangement may involve more access to advanced analytics related to population health with an emphasis on medical data insights to improve care and lower costs. For Amazon, a clinically strategic arrangement with Cerner would expand and intertwine its presence in healthcare. It potentially engages hospitals / health systems, health insurers / managed care organizations, medical researchers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and other healthcare entities where deep analytics, patient care, treatment costs, outcomes, healthcare records ( EHR / EMR ) and other big data management capabilities are highly valued.
…Based in North Kansas City, Missouri, Cerner is a global healthcare information technology company generating over $4.5 billion in annual sales with more than 20,000 employees…
Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) unit is generating almost $5 billion in quarterly revenues
Healthcare is privacy, data-driven and precision-based industry. While Amazon has excellent data security and broad analytic capabilities, it does not have these attributes recognized and established in the healthcare community. They have made deliberate steps to change this including fortifying its AWS services to meet HIPAA requirements and secure protected health information ( PHI ). Collectively, Amazon API Gateway, Amazon SQS, AWS Direct Connect and AWS Database Migration Service are HIPAA compliant.
Cerner, founded in 1979, has a proven track record and a positive reputation in the healthcare industry
Cerner’s HealtheIntent software platform is a heavy hitter in population health management. As a tandem, Amazon and Cerner have better potential to effectively compete against some of the other unique healthcare initiatives underway at Epic, Google, IBM / Watson, Meditech and Microsoft / Azure.
Looking ahead, there is an array of options and strategies for Amazon and Cerner to consider
Amazon’s master plan for the healthcare industry is difficult to decipher but clearly they are approaching the sector from multiple angles. Cerner can continue to amplify and enhance its present offerings and develop new ones with Amazon as a resource partner to generate more sales. There is a reasonable fit for each as they seek to grow taller and wider within the healthcare space. The innovation they can bring would undoubtedly benefit multiple stakeholders in the medical community and pose a serious threat to competitors.
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