How Oracle is using generative AI to revamp Cerner

Oracle is effectively using generative artificial intelligence to modernize the Cerner EHR, according to Larry Ellison, the software giant's co-founder and chief technology officer.

"As you know, generative AI generates code. We have an application generator called Apex," he said in a Sept. 11 earnings call. "And we are not writing code for the new Cerner. We are generating that code in Apex."

Mr. Ellison said his company is revamping the Millennium EHR as it integrates Cerner into its portfolio following its $28.4 billion acquisition of the vendor in 2022. Oracle is rewriting that software "a piece at a time" rather than doing a "big rip and replace," he noted.

"The first thing is to get the lift and shift and get the existing system hardened, which we've done, and moving the customers to the cloud, which we're in the process of moving everybody to the cloud," he said in the call. "That will give them better performance, better security, and new features will then start showing up with the system."

Automating the EHR upgrade is also a more efficient and accurate process, according to Mr. Ellison. Code generators, he said during the call, "don't make mistakes."

"It's not armies of programmers that are going to be rewriting this," he added. "We are generating the new Millennium software using Apex, and that's also going to save us a lot of human labor and generate higher-quality code and higher-quality user interfaces and better security, all at once."

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