Amazon Web Services, Amazon's cloud service business, is reportedly in the final stages of discussions with Cerner on a project that will involve the latter company's population health product called HealtheIntent, CNBC reported.
Amazon Web Services is already offering cloud-based programs to other industries, including financial services, energy and government.
While other industries have moved into cloud-based data centers, many healthcare organizations have been leery of using cloud-based solutions because of security concerns, particularly around HIPAA.
Amazon has been expanding its footprint into other business lines and a deal with EHR powerhouse Cerner could nudge others in the industry to look at cloud storage differently.
Other healthcare companies are moving into cloud-based services. For instance, Meditech recently rolled out a new cloud-based EHR for critical access hospitals. Meditech-as-a-Service looks to increase workplace efficiency and improve quality of care.
Cloud-based products are also helping health IT companies like eClinicalWorks. "Cloud to me is not just about hosting remotely," eClinicalWorks CEO Girish Navani told Healthcare Dive recently. "It's about a platform that allows collaboration between users and patients and doctors. That's broadly the transition we've seen." MarketsandMarkets predicts the healthcare cloud computing market will grow to $9.48 billion by 2020.
Healthcare organizations are of course watching Amazon closely in the sector. Recently, Amazon allayed pharmacy benefit management (PBM) companies’ fears when it claimed it’s not looking to sell drugs. For months, PBMs worried that Amazon was looking to enter that market.
Amazon is also reportedly looking at getting into medical records and telemedicine. The company is secretly working on those projects, CNBC reported over the summer.
After the report over the potential deal was release, Cerner's stock skyrocketed 4.7% at the close of business last Wednesday.
CNBC reported the deal is in preparation to be included in AWS CEO Andy Jassy's keynote at the re:Invent conference this week. That keynote is scheduled for 8am PT on Wednesday.