Larry Ellison: Oracle will modernize and expand Cerner’s Millennium platform

Oracle chairman of the board and chief technology officer Larry Ellison delivers a keynote address during the 2019 Oracle OpenWorld on September 16, 2019. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Oracle will undertake work to modernize and expand Cerner’s Millennium electronic health records platform, including adding modules such as voice activation and integrated telemedicine, according to the company’s chairman and CTO.

Speaking Thursday at the first public briefing by executives after Oracle’s $28.3 billion acquisition of Cerner closed, Larry Ellison set out a future vision in which the medical records company will play a key role in the cloud giant’s further expansion into global healthcare technology.

“We [a combination of Oracle and Cerner] are going to modernize and expand Millennium substantially. The first thing we are going to do is to make it easy to use. We’re going to have a voice user interface to Millennium that makes it easier for doctors to access medicine and orders.”

He added: “There is also an integrated telemedicine module that allows [users] to consult. If you are living in rural America and you want to consult with a specialist at MD Anderson for cancer, then you can do that via secure video teleconference.”

According to the executive, Oracle will also add disease-specific AI modules — including a recently developed cancer-specific module — to the system.

Details of the changes come a day after Oracle’s $28.3 billion acquisition of medical records company Cerner closed. The U.S. government is among Cerner’s biggest clients, and the technology company currently has contracts with the Coast Guard, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs.

At the Department of Veterans Affairs, Cerner’s Millennium platform has formed the backbone of the agency’s troubled electronic health records (EHR) modernization program, which continues to attract scrutiny from lawmakers and government oversight bodies because of persistent outages.

Late last month, Senate lawmakers unanimously passed legislation that would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to report the costs of its EHR modernization program more regularly and in greater detail.

Speaking at Thursday’s briefing event, Ellison also set out Oracle’s wider vision for Cerner, which will be the foundation of a new project which includes plans for the cloud giant to build a unified health database that will hold data belonging to millions of Americans in an anonymized form.

Oracle wants to create a new overarching nationwide system for patient health records across the U.S., which according to Ellison could overcome patient data fragmentation and allow doctors at any hospital to access a patient’s data when needed.

The new health records system would also help public health officials access data more quickly during a global health crisis such as a pandemic, he said.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Cerner, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), DOD, electronic health records (EHRs), Oracle, U.S. Coast Guard
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