Oracle plans US database for electronic medical records • The Register

Oracle plans to build a national database of individual health records for the entire United States following its $28.3 billion acquisition of electronic health records specialist Cerner.

In a presentation, CTO and founder Larry Ellison said each patient’s electronic health records are stored by hospitals and physicians, not replicated or shared between providers.

“We’re going to solve this problem by putting a unified national database of health records on top of all of those thousands of separate hospital databases,” Ellison said.

“Together, Cerner and Oracle have all the technology needed to create a revolutionary new cloud-based health management information system. This system will deliver much better information to healthcare professionals. Better information will fundamentally transform Health care.”

Ellison argued that the fragmentation of electronic health records is “causing huge problems” in the US healthcare system.

He said patients falling ill or injured outside their hometown faced the prospect of emergency clinical teams treating them without access to health records.

“They can’t access it. They don’t know what your blood type is. They don’t know what your allergies are. They don’t know if you have a metal stent in your heart. They don’t know anything about you, in terms of health records,” he said.

The lack of a central database has also caused problems for health management and policy, he said.

“If you’re a public health official and you want to know how many people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, you can’t get that data. That data is in literally thousands of databases. You would have to go into each database… and count the number of people hospitalized in that hospital, then add them up.

However, those analyzing health trends would not be able to access data from the National Health Database because the records would be anonymized, he said.

“There is only one person in the world who can give doctors access to your health records, and that is you. You hold the key to all of your health records and the national database. EHR.”

Oracle would also build systems to improve personnel and financial management in US healthcare, he said. The company was working on a system to help mitigate risk in the healthcare supply chain that proposes using blockchain-based technologies to stop counterfeit drugs.

Ellison did not say who would pay for his national electronic health records database, or when doctors would start using it. We have asked Oracle for further details. ®

Maria H. Underwood