Tech giant Oracle is tackling the patient records issue in the health sector, and it has just acquired Cerner, an health records company, to help in its effort.
Bought for $28 billion, Cerner is a company that provides medical devices, electronic health records, and other health information technologies.
Combining their resources, the newly formed company aims to create a national records database with the collaboration of thousands of hospitals. Chairman of Oracle Larry Ellison explained that they can get as many patient records as possible even when they don’t consent to share the details yet.
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What happens next is that the system will create anonymous profiles until the patient gives consent to share their details.
“We’re building a system where all American citizens’ health records not only exist at the hospital level, but they also are in a unified national health records database,” Ellison further said.
According to the billionaire, who also serves as the chief technology officer of Oracle, part of the issue is that patient data are held in different health facilities without a way to share it with other institutions. Thus, when a patient goes to another hospital for treatments, it is hard to obtain their records. It is even tougher for research teams to study large groups of people because of what is commonly called patient record silos.
There are several challenges ahead of Oracle’s project, including collaboration, volume, consent, and more.
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