See if you've seen this movie before. Big Tech comes into healthcare and makes big claims to solve what ails healthcare. I'm just a little surprised that it still happens. Today we explore the most recent case.
Today in health, it Oracle to the rescue. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system. And creator of this week health, a set of channels, dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders.
Gordian dynamics, Quill health tau. nuance, Canon medical, and current health. Check them out at this week. health.com/today. All right. You knew it was coming. You knew this headline was coming. You knew the day was going to come. When we were going to talk about it. And so where am I getting this from? I'm getting this from the verge.
Oracle thinks it can fix healthcare's biggest tech issue. Let me give you some excerpts. Just after closing a $28 billion deal to acquire electronic health records company, Cerner. Tech giant. Oracle said it thinks it can solve. One of the biggest problems in healthcare patient records. The combined companies will create a national health records database that pulls in data from thousands of hospitals, said Larry Ellison.
Oracle board chairman and chief technology officer during a press briefing. Patient data would be anonymous until individuals give consent to share their information. We're building a system where all American citizens, health records not only exist at the hospital level, but they are also in a unified national health records. Database Ellison said Ellison outlined the well-trodden problems of the U S healthcare is data systems.
Patient information is siloed off within individual institutions that makes it hard for doctors to get information. About their patients when they're treated at other institutions. It also makes it difficult for research teams to do studies on large groups of people. They often are limited to the patient information at the place where they work.
So it's hard to tell them. , it's hard for them to tell if their conclusions would apply to people at other health centers. But despite Ellison sweeping promises, Oracle will likely face an uphill battle to make this vision a reality health. It experts tweeted skepticism in the wake of the announcement experts in health technology and federal government.
Has spent years, if not decades, trying to make it easier for health records held. At different institutions to communicate with each other, a national Institute of health program was able to build an anonymous centralized records database. For COVID-19 research in 2020. But that took enormous effort from people who already worked on interoperability issues.
And it was anonymous and did require navigating patient consent. Big tech companies often run into problems when they try to tackle the complex Nadia American healthcare system, Cerner and Oracle's partnership, combines tech expertise with experience. In the health data ecosystem. Which may offer them a leg up, but as with most issues in healthcare, there's a chasm between identifying the problem and being able to fix it.
Hmm. Well, I, you know, we've seen this story before. Haven't we. I think. , I'm reminded of IBM's Watson project and we are going to change healthcare. We are going to solve healthcare. So, if you start from that premise, you have to be extremely. , I don't know, jaded. And as you read this article, you have to think a, another arrogant organization coming into healthcare thinking they can solve the problem.
That's one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is to say, Has anything changed in the environment that would make it possible for Oracle to do what other companies couldn't do many years ago? And so as I think about it, that way, I would say 21st century cures that's changed. So that's been laid in as a groundwork for this. There's a lot of precedent that has been, , laid.
With the COVID-19 research project in 2020, you also have. , things like Truvada that are doing this. You have a heck epics doing this as well. , so it's not, it's not new. , I tend to look at it sort of has in both directions. You know, I think it's amazing that Larry Ellison would come out and say , this definitively.
Like, Hey, we've got a solution to this health records problem. It just doesn't show, , a lot of, , awareness of the, , the challenges that have faced healthcare and who his clients are. , they're not sitting there going, yay. Larry's coming to our rescue and he's going to solve this problem. They're sitting there going, Larry. Do you have any idea how many times we have heard somebody is going to come and solve this problem?
And so you can look at this very jaded. I understand how you get there. And there's part of me that sort of looks at it and says, I can't believe this is the marketing approach that they decided to take. On the flip side, it's absolutely the approach they're going to take. From this perspective.
And that is. There's a lot of money in the data. Oracle bought Cerner for the price that bought Cerner for the value of the data. And that's what they have to unlock in order for this deal to make sense. From a financial standpoint and a return to investor standpoint. Now, granted it has the large government contracts that come along with it, but if they can figure out something to do with the data, it has exponential value and it exceeds
, the 28 billion they paid for Cerner. So yes, of course there was going to be a data play. It's Oracle of course, there was going to be a data play. We knew there was going to be a data play. The question was, were they going to. Wait into it. In a, , measured approach, a humble approach let's hear from the industry approach or where are they going to weigh in?
, with the reputation that big tech has gotten in this industry, Google was going to save healthcare and then Microsoft had health fault and they were going to save healthcare. And then IBM was going to save healthcare with Watson. And now you have, Oracle's going to save healthcare with data.
The reality is this is not a data problem. It's not a technology problem. We haven't had a technology problem. With the datasets. And what we have is we have a data normalization problem. We have a data standard problem. We have a data entry problem.
, we have a data governance problem. So when you bring all this disparate data together, unless you establish the standards and the way. Of collecting the data and inputting the data. And you'd normalize that data all along the way in the process so that when someone says something in one house or something, it means the same thing as another health system.
Yeah, you're not going to be able to just flat out, solve this problem with technology. So you have to get involved at the point that the data's coming in to the system. And you have to get involved at the point. Where there are standards being set around the nomenclature around the , data elements that are in the, , in the system itself. And so, I think.
You know, a nuance is right there at the, a at the point. And, and in fairness, Larry has talked about this. And the fact that they are going to bring, , voice recognition to bear for the clinicians and maybe they can apply some standards to that. And start to standardize the data itself. So I look at this and I say, yeah, all right. So the technology has advanced the voice technology is advancing at a incredibly rapid pace. The pace is, is staggering. And with. New forms of artificial intelligence and training machines. , we're just seeing really rapid growth in that area. And so that's moved forward 21st century, cures has moved forward and so maybe Larry's coming in at the right time to make such a statement.
I just think it's, , , lacks awareness to come in and make that statement. Following the many failures that have come before it, I would have just taken a little different approach. Now can they solve it?
There are so many aspects of this that make this a huge lift. For Oracle. So, , You know, will they make strides? I believe they will make strides.
Will they solve the problem? No, they won't solve the problem. And that's why it was a mistake to come out this boldly. , with these kinds of statements and you know, it might've been better to really talk about the benefit that we were going to see from the patient's perspective and from the clinicians perspective and the things they were going to do. And instead of.
Touching on a hot button issue and signaling to the industry. That we are yet another technology company. That's unaware. Of the environment that we stepped into. So that's my 2 cents and that may be what it's worth. I hope they make progress. I think they have the ability to make progress.
If they adjust their thought process and their approach to the industry. All right. That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week out.com. Or wherever you listen to podcasts, apple, Google, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher.
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