Oracle-Cerner deal success will rely on data interoperability, cloud-1st strategy, Forrester analyst says 

Oracle inked an agreement Dec. 20 to acquire Cerner for $28.3 billion — the software giant's biggest deal ever. However, whether the deal is successful may depend on Oracle's ability to work past healthcare data silos across the industry, according to a Forrester analyst. 

"The acquisition of Cerner by Oracle has tremendous potential; however, success will be primarily determined by one factor: Oracle's cloud-first strategy for harnessing the power of data that sits outside of the EHR," Natalie Schibell, a senior analyst at Forrester, said in a Dec. 20 statement shared with Becker's. 

The lack of data interoperability among healthcare organizations limits providers from easily sharing patient records and, in turn, gaining insights on patients' health. The Oracle-Cerner deal will require Oracle to continue pushing Cerner's transition to the cloud and equip the EHR with increased capacity for virtual care capabilities, according to Ms. Schibell. 

"A forward-thinking cloud strategy must underpin data-sharing with interoperable data that is maintained on a longitudinal care record and exchanged securely. Leveraging the power of data is just as important as keeping it secure," she said. "As Oracle attempts to make a bigger footprint in the healthcare sector, its investment in cybersecurity must also exponentially grow." 

Under the acquisition, Cerner will move its systems to Oracle's Gen2 Cloud platform. As part of the transition, Oracle also will add its hands-free digital voice assistant to Cerner's interface.


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