Cerner has lengthy been synonymous with digital medical information for hospitals and suppliers, however the healthcare know-how firm has set its sight on a brand new buyer: the pharmaceutical business. “There’s a ton of knowledge that’s documented and captured as a byproduct of on a regular basis medication,” says Cerner president Donald Trigg. “That data has the chance to essentially be a constructive pressure for the way we take into consideration the fee and time of medical trials.”
On Thursday, the Kansas Metropolis, Missouri-based firm finalized its $375 million money acquisition of New York-based Kantar Well being, a life sciences information and analytics analysis agency. First introduced final December, the deal is a part of a much bigger technique to develop Cerner’s data-as-a-service choices right into a billion greenback income enterprise over the subsequent few years. “We did not specify a timeframe, however take into consideration this as a Cerner 2025 ambition,” says Trigg. Cerner had $5.5 billion in revenue in 2020, with a web revenue of $780 million.
Most digital medical file distributors, together with Cerner, Epic and Allscripts, have spent the previous decade serving to healthcare suppliers transfer from paper to digital information in an effort to adjust to the 2009 HITECH Act. Almost 3 million healthcare suppliers use Cerner’s techniques every day, which handle the info of practically 250 million sufferers worldwide. When this affected person data is anonymized, it could present big-picture, real-world information about affected person well being and the way medication and different interventions actually work. When mixed with machine studying and different strategies, this information can pace up drug discovery and get remedies to market sooner.
“It is a area that had pattern earlier than Covid,” says Trigg, however it was “completely accelerated” by the pandemic. Whereas randomized managed trials are nonetheless the gold commonplace for drug approval, each the business and regulators are getting more and more extra snug with affected person information generated exterior of the medical trial setting.
“With Kantar, Cerner will considerably increase its functionality in medical analysis help, industrial planning, branding steerage, and advertising insights to serve life science clients,” Deutsche Financial institution analyst George Hill wrote in a analysis be aware in December, including the marketplace for real-world proof is predicted to develop to $11 billion in 2024. On Cerner’s last earnings call, the corporate estimated Kantar would herald $125 million in income by means of the top of 2021.
The Kantar acquisition is one among a number of associated initiatives in Cerner’s nascent data-as-a-service line of enterprise. In 2019, the corporate launched what it calls the Studying Well being Community, which incorporates analytics instruments and a de-identified information set of 92 million affected person information that provides taking part establishments an opportunity to take part in medical analysis research. Verona, Wisconsin-based Epic Methods, Cerner’s largest rival, introduced its large information initiative known as Cosmos the identical 12 months.
In December 2020, Cerner additionally introduced it was partnering with Austin, Texas-based startup Elligo Well being Analysis, which helps with web site administration of medical trials. Whereas most medical trials are inclined to happen at bigger analysis establishments, Elligo helps smaller group and rural hospitals take part. “You should not need to stay in Boston or New York or San Francisco to have a possibility to essentially take part in medical trial exercise,” says Trigg. In line with Pitchbook, Cerner was the lead investor in Elligo’s $45 million Collection D spherical, although Cerner declined to substantiate the precise quantity invested.
Whereas the digital medical information market has largely been dominated by Cerner and Epic over the previous few years, the massive information market is up for grabs. There’s been a surge of enterprise exercise in healthcare IT, with funding hitting practically $3.7 billion in 2020, in keeping with CB Insights. Massive Tech firms, like Amazon, Google and Microsoft are additionally in search of a bit of the healthcare information enterprise. Modifications to federal laws and the adoption of requirements for digital affected person information are bringing extra gamers to this market as effectively.
Regardless of the inflow of competitors, Trigg says that Cerner is well-positioned to be a frontrunner on this space. “Only a few organizations had the expertise with medical information on a multi-decade foundation that we’ve got,” he says, including “that is the place we expect we’ve got an opportunity to be differentiated and advantaged.”