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June 10, 2022

Oracle has acquired Cerner—here's its plan for what's next

Daily Briefing

    After Oracle closed a $28.4 billion deal to purchase the EHR company Cerner, Oracle co-founder, board chair, and chief technology officer Larry Ellison on Thursday announced what the company intends to do with the acquisition, including developing a national medical record database.

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    Oracle's plans for Cerner

    According to Ellison, Oracle plans to develop a national health records database that will be connected to EHRs at hospitals. That database would house all of a patient's medical records that individual care providers keep, allowing providers to have a central location to search a patient's medical history.

    "This data is up-to-the-second accurate," Ellison said. "The way the system works is we continuously upload [EHR] data from the hospital databases into this national database."

    Patient consent would be required for a provider to access health records in the database, Ellison said. Otherwise, the data will be anonymized and made available to public health officials to inform policy.

    "This new health management system will deliver much better information to health care professionals," Ellison said. "That is now our primary mission here at Oracle."

    Ellison said Oracle also intends to add new technologies to Cerner's EHR platform, encouraging medical providers to develop AI tools like algorithms to monitor specific diseases, which could then be integrated into an EHR.

    And in order to ease clinicians' administrative burden, Oracle intends to add voice assistant technology to Cerner's EHR to help clinicians enter data and search for information.

    The company will also repurpose V-safe, a tool Oracle designed for CDC amid the Covid-19 pandemic to check in with patients following a Covid-19 vaccination.

    According to Ellison, the tool will be used as a patient-engagement system, allowing doctors to communicate with patients and patients to schedule medical visits. The tool will also be expanded to collect data from wearable and home diagnostic devices.

    "Better information is the key to transforming health care," Ellison said. "Better information will allow us to deliver better patient outcomes. Better information will allow public health officials to develop much better public health policy and better information will fundamentally lower health workers' healthcare costs." (Cohen, Modern Healthcare, 6/9; Ravindranath, STAT+ [subscription required], 6/9)

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