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Brent Shafer AWS re:Invent keynote

3 ways the cloud is transforming health care: Cerner at AWS re:Invent 2019

Published on 12/4/2019

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

This week the Amazon Web Services annual conference brings together more than 60,000 leaders from the global cloud computing community ─ developers and engineers, system administrators, system architects and technical decision makers ─ for networking, education and inspiration to push boundaries and innovate in the cloud. Tuesday, Cerner CEO and Chairman of the Board Brent Shafer took the stage during AWS CEO Andy Jassy’s executive keynote. Later in the day, Jake Geers of Cerner Intelligence participated in an hour-long session on transforming health care with voice artificial intelligence alongside AWS’ Paul Zhao and George Seegan of biotechnology company Amgen.

Here are three takeaways from the conference that show how the power of the cloud is ushering in a new era of health care:

1. Decreasing financial waste

A recent study from the American Medical Association reveals that a quarter of all U.S. health care spending – nearly $1 trillion – is wasted on unnecessary follow-ups to doctors’ appointments, overtreating patients and gaps in digital information caused by people seeking care from different doctors and health systems over a lifetime. Reports also show that, for two-thirds of common diagnoses, patients pay more for a hospital re-admission than for their initial visit. At re:Invent, Brent revealed Cerner’s plan to reduce this financial waste by using decades of de-identified patient data to help make early determinations of what’s causing return hospitalizations. The insights that Cerner unveils will give physicians the resources they need to make more informed decisions on treatment approaches, thereby aiding in the reduction of patient re-admissions.

2. Lowering patient re-admissions

Brent also shared a success story from a Cerner client – one of the largest providers of post-acute health care in the U.S. – that recently asked for help predicting which patients are at risk of being re-admitted from a rehabilitation facility back to the hospital. By applying machine learning to historical data migrated to the AWS Cloud, Cerner created a model that helped the health care system reach the lowest re-admission rate in more than a decade and sent more patients directly from rehabilitation to the comfort of their homes.

3Reducing the documentation burden

Reports have shown that physicians spend more than half of their day documenting patient information. During the re:Invent keynote, Brent outlined Cerner’s work to address documentation burden, cognitive overload and physician burnout. He announced that Cerner recently received its 500th patent, which features voice-activated documentation technology that can capture important details shared between the clinician and patient. In collaboration with Amazon Transcribe Medical, Cerner is developing a virtual scribe that passively captures physician-patient conversations (with patient consent) to document and pre-fill a patient’s medical record.

Cerner was represented at an afternoon education session by panelist Jake Geers, who expanded upon the vision of a heavily automated voice documentation process guided by AI and machine learning models. Jake noted that while technology can never replace the decision making that must be done by the clinician, AI can make it easier for providers to capture data, act efficiently and provide smarter care.

From reducing financial waste to improving patient outcomes and clinician satisfaction, AWS re:Invent is a great opportunity to examine and showcase how the cloud is fueling innovation and transforming the future of care.

Cerner’s strategic collaboration with AWS empowers us to use cloud delivery, machine learning and artificial learning to relentlessly deliver faster, more scalable and secure solutions to clients and patients across the globe. Learn more here.

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