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Cerner teams with Amazon

by Cerner Corporation
Published on August 27, 2020

Cerner Corporation announced today a new collaboration with Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) that allows consumers to easily connect vital health and well-being information with their broader health care teams. The Amazon Halo, a new service dedicated to helping customers improve health and wellness, can connect to Cerner’s technology where individuals can opt-in to share activity, sleep, body fat percentage and other important wellness data from the comfort of their home. Historically this type of data has been siloed or difficult to obtain. Wearable technology, such as the Amazon Halo, can help achieve greater interoperability across health care when integrated directly into a patient’s electronic health record (EHR). Longtime Cerner client Sharp HealthCare is the first health system to implement Amazon Halo in the health care setting.

In recent years, a growing number of consumers have become more empowered and engaged in their own health care journeys, in many cases seeking out opportunities to employ technology and data-sharing to support healthier decisions. Much of this shift has been driven by the rapidly growing number of connected wearable devices. By introducing valuable data from Amazon Halo into the Cerner EHR and well-being offerings, consumers and care teams alike can now have a more accurate and timely view of an individual’s health.

“The health care industry is undergoing a digital revolution, where physicians are increasingly looking to leverage patient-generated health data to help keep them healthier and out of the doctor’s office,” said David Bradshaw, senior vice president of consumer and employer solutions, Cerner. “Our work with Amazon Halo highlights the importance of using artificial intelligence and other leading-edge technologies to accelerate health care innovation and improve health outcomes. Cerner is focused on continuing to lead a wave of breakthrough innovation, and this integration with Amazon Halo is a step toward this goal. We’re excited that our client, Sharp HealthCare, is the first health system to be able to take advantage of the Amazon Halo integration.”

Amazon Halo uses new innovations in computer vision to let members get a highly accurate measure of their body fat percentage, from the comfort and privacy of their own home. Participating clients can allow Amazon Halo members to opt-in to a more comprehensive view of their wellness data, including sleep and activity, shared directly to Cerner Consumer Well-being technology, hosted in the secure and resilient Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. Through Cerner’s Consumer Well-being offers and related Workforce Health services, companies who purchase Amazon Halo Bands can offer their employees and health plan members this connectivity as part of their wellness programs or as part of a bring-your-own-device model.

In addition, patients can also share body fat percentage with their clinical care team by connecting their Cerner HealtheLifeSM application. This data can show progress on an individual’s goals, inform care team guidance and offer a more comprehensive view of activities that, when managed proactively, can positively influence a person’s overall health. 

“As a leader in health care technology, Cerner shares our deep commitment to helping customers improve their individual health and wellness. We look forward to seeing the benefits Cerner Consumer Well-being clients can offer their customers with Amazon Halo for making healthy choices,” said Melissa Cha, vice president, Amazon Halo. “Additionally, Amazon Halo members will be able to share their body fat percentage—a better measure of overall health than just weight or BMI alone—with their care providers using the Cerner EHR, so care teams will have more relevant, useful information to consider in enabling better health outcomes.”

The first health system to implement the Amazon Halo integration is Cerner client Sharp HealthCare, a leading health care provider located in San Diego with 2,600 physicians across four acute care and three specialty hospitals. The Amazon Halo Band will initially be provided to a limited number of Sharp Health Plan members participating in wellness programs to aid in self-directed and coach-guided lifestyle behavior changes. Last year, Sharp HealthCare expanded its longstanding relationship with Cerner adding EHR and revenue cycle support to its more than 200 primary care and specialty clinics across its outpatient facilities and independent physician practice groups. In further alignment as the relationship progresses, Sharp HealthCare patients who receive the band will eventually have the option to link their Sharp and Halo accounts to the Cerner EHR to share their body fat percentage with the clinical care team.

“Technology is revolutionizing the way we care for patients and how consumers care for themselves, and, at Sharp, we strive to embrace innovative ways to leverage leading technology to engage consumers in managing their health,” said Michael Reagin, chief information and innovation officer, Sharp HealthCare. “With more relevant information at their fingertips, our populations will be empowered to make more informed decisions about the health and well-being of themselves and the communities they serve. We are pleased to work with Cerner and Amazon Halo to offer our members, patients and clinicians an opportunity to have a more connected health record.”

This collaboration follows the Cerner and AWS announcement a year ago to accelerate health care innovation, enhance clinical experiences, increase efficiencies, lower operational burdens for health care and accelerate artificial intelligence and machine learning to advance better patient health outcomes. Today’s announcement provides consumers and their health care teams with previously hard to obtain health metrics that help consumers focus more on making personalized and actionable behavior changes to help lead to longer-term improved health.

The Amazon Halo is available in the U.S. for early access, click here to request early access.