Cerner expands AWS relationship with new machine learning initiatives

At Amazon Web Services re:Invent, CEO Brent Shafer said Cerner aims to migrate its core applications to AWS – and is working with it on AI projects focused on readmissions and clinician burnout.
By Mike Miliard
03:20 PM
Cerner expands AWS relationship with new machine learning initiatives

In an expansion of their ongoing collaboration, Cerner has chosen Amazon Web Services as its preferred artificial intelligence and machine learning provider – and will continue to use AWS technologies to improve patient and provider experience, boost population health efforts and tackle healthcare costs.

WHY IT MATTERS
Cerner will work to migrate core applications to AWS as part of the collaborative agreement, officials said. In addition, the company is standardizing its AI and machine learning workloads on AWS to develop new predictive technology.

One focus of this new initiative is the Cerner Machine Learning Ecosystem – a platform built using Amazon SageMaker, Amazon Simple Storage Service, AWS Lambda, Amazon Simple Queue Service, AWS Step Functions and Amazon CloudWatch.

The companies say the platform will help healthcare data scientists building, deploy, monitor and manage machine models at scale – and help Cerner find more predictive and digital diagnostic insights for earlier health interventions.

Among the first new machine learning initiatives AWS and Cerner will tackle are readmission prevention and clinician burnout.

At Amazon Web Services re:Invent, Cerner CEO Brent Shafer noted one client it was able to serve by applying machine learning to historical data migrated to the AWS Cloud. It developed a model that helped the healthcare system reach the lowest readmission rate in more than a decade.

And the new Amazon Transcribe Medical, and AI tools like it, will also be honed with help from Cerner to reduce the documentation burden faced by clinicians each day.

"The digitization of health care has inadvertently caused an increase in documentation for physicians," said Shafer. "Working with AWS will allow us to capture doctor-patient interaction and integrate it directly into the electronic workflow of the physician. This new advancement will help doctors and providers spend less time filling out forms and more quality time with their patients."

THE LARGER TREND
This past summer, Cerner announced that AWS would be it preferred cloud provider, noting that its hosted services – especially those involving AI and machine learning – will enable advances in interoperability and data portability helping improve health outcomes across the continuum of care.

The companies are committed to a broad strategic framework enabling joint teams to drive what the two companies hope is accelerated innovation and enable increased speed to market, they said.

Amazon this week announced the new HIPAA-eligible Amazon Transcribe Medical. With services such as that one – along with Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly and Amazon Translate – part of the Cerner Machine Learning Ecosystem, developers will be able to create chatbots that give patients access to their personal health records and the ability to ask questions about their medication, diagnoses, and medical conditions, officials said.

ON THE RECORD
"We’ve spent 40 years digitizing data for hundreds of millions of people across the world and taken health records out of paper charts and manila folders," said Shafer in a statement. "Our work with AWS will put us at the leading edge of cognitive data. Where we’re headed is taking the digital age to a new level to reduce costs, providing more insights into diseases, and giving clinicians back valuable time."

"Cerner will leverage our comprehensive machine learning and analytics services to gain new clinical and business insights that have the potential to significantly improve the delivery of patient care," added Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS. "By running their workloads on AWS, Cerner will drive a new era of health system interoperability and data portability to improve health outcomes across the continuum of care."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

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