Amazon Web Services likes to use its annual re:Invent conference to show off new ways cloud computing is growing in strategic markets, and it would appear it’s putting the finishing touches on a deal with health-care giant Cerner in time for next week’s conference, according to a report.
CNBC reported Wednesday that AWS and Cerner are partnering to give AWS customers better health-care focused tools for running their health-care applications on the cloud. Cerner is already an AWS customer, and the new partnership appears to center on an expansion of Cerner’s Healtheintent product running on AWS, according to the report.
Cerner builds electronic records technology for health-care providers and employers, and Healtheintent is designed for large-scale “population level” health data, according to its website. Health-care providers and local officials can then use that data to predict health problems for individual patients and populations, matching patients and treatments more effectively.
AWS already courts the health-care industry, of course, as it does nearly every significant vertical market that might benefit from its brand of cloud computing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report last month projecting that health care will be the single largest component of the U.S. economy by 2026, and it’s hard to imagine health-care companies setting up their own data centers to accommodate that growth.
But regulations around patient privacy have made health-care providers a little more hesitant than others when it comes to embracing cloud services. According to CNBC, AWS has been improving its support for HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations that all health-care providers are required to follow when handling patient data.
And if the government trusts AWS with classified data, it makes sense that the health-care industry would start taking a closer look at what cloud computing could do for their patients and bottom lines. An AWS representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.