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One year later: AWS collaboration driving Cerner's shift to a digital platform company

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

by Cerner Corporation

Published on 10/5/2020

This Q&A, featuring Dan Devers, Cerner’s senior vice president of cloud strategy, was originally published on FierceHealthcare.com. Cerner is proud to join forces with AWS to deliver fast, more scalable and secure solutions to clients and patients across the globe.

As part of a new deal with Amazon, Cerner is letting users of Amazon's new Halo fitness tracker share wearable data directly with their providers. It's just one example of how the health IT company is expanding beyond its traditional medical records business as part of a broader strategic partnership with Amazon.

A year ago, Cerner announced a collaboration with Amazon's cloud business, Amazon Web Services (AWS). Cerner plans to tap into Amazon's expertise in customer experience and its artificial intelligence capabilities to drive future growth for its health IT business.

The tie-up with Amazon includes migrating many of the health IT company's solutions to the public cloud.

But, more broadly, it's also driving Cerner's strategic shift from being an EHR-centric company to a digital platform organization, according to Dan Devers, Cerner's senior vice president of cloud strategy.

"Moving forward, I think Cerner will look more like a health platform company and less like an EHR company. As you play out the trend in healthcare, I see Cerner very much operating at the health network level, so beyond the enterprise of a single health system. Given the power of the cloud and the work we’re doing, I see Cerner having much more relevance into broader networks and providing nationwide capabilities," Devers told Fierce Healthcare in a recent interview.

For Amazon, the collaboration provides a foothold in the healthcare industry at significant scale. 

Cerner, which had $5.7 billion in annual revenue last year, commands about 26% of the electronic health record (EHR) market, and its products are used in more than 27,000 facilities around the world. During Cerner's second-quarter earnings call in July, Cerner CEO Brent Shafer said the company's healthcare operations and data platforms business was on pace for 30% growth in 2020.

Devers, who has worked at Cerner for 12 years, spoke with Fierce Healthcare about how the company is tapping into Amazon's cloud and AI expertise and possible tie-ups with Amazon's other healthcare businesses, such as Haven and PillPack.

Fierce Healthcare: Why did Cerner want to partner with Amazon Web Services?

Dan Devers: First and foremost, healthcare as an industry has the ability to be transformed by the use of the cloud like other industries. That was our central proposition. Public cloud will enable us to create value for our clients, as it has played out in other industries.

If you look at things like the ability to speed up innovation, we are leveraging these public cloud services to get innovations out to our clients more rapidly. But, ultimately, what drew us to AWS was their market leadership and the way they are viewed in the healthcare industry around stability, security, privacy and reliability.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Cerner and AWS are working together to lead a new era of health care. Register now for the Cerner Health Conference (CHC) 2020 and attend sessions like these to learn about the innovative tools we’re developing through our collaboration with AWS:

To see the full CHC agenda, visit CernerHealthConference.com