Cerner creates new division to sell data, research services for clinical trials


Cerner is leveraging its recent acquisition of Kantar Health to create a new business unit targeting companies conducting clinical trials, the company announced Tuesday.

Dubbed Enviza, the new division will sell data and research services to facilitate clinical research carried out by life sciences firms. The unit will bring together Cerner’s data business with life sciences expertise from Kantar Health, which Cerner bought for $375 million via a deal that closed in April.

Enviza’s customers primarily will be life sciences companies and healthcare providers, said Mike Kelly, global head of Enviza and former president and chief operating officer of Kantar Health. Providers that participate in Cerner’s Learning Health Network can access the electronic health records database and analytics tools at no cost. Companies developing new drugs and other therapies will provide most of Enviza’s revenue, Kelly said.

“Life sciences is keenly interested to have access to the real-world data,” Kelly said. Life sciences companies utilizing Enviza’s data and services will be able to speed new therapies through the scientific and regulatory processes, he said.

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Enviza will sell access to de-identified patient information from EHRs and offer research services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The new division is set up to help clients collect relevant data, set up trials, and submit safety and efficacy findings to regulators.

Cerner’s Learning Health Network is the repository for anonymized patient records collected from 76 participating health systems. Enviza clients will be able to use those data to locate patients who may be appropriate for clinical trials. Enviza will then give Cerner’s provider customers the option to contact patients and invite them to participate in research studies.

Electronic health records vendors such as Cerner have sought to diversify their businesses beyond selling information technology systems by offering tools and services to help providers and life sciences companies utilize patient data for their operations.

Cerner has identified “data-as-a-service” as a growth opportunity. Prior to creating Enviza, the company put this into action by creating the Learning Health Network and investing in Elligo Health Research, a startup focused on clinical trials.

“Cerner is definitely looking at monetizing the data sitting in its EHR platform,” said Paddy Padmanabhan, CEO of Damo Consulting. “This is a big frontier in the unlocking of patient data.”

Last year, Epic Systems launched Cosmos, a database of de-identified EHR data collected in the Epic Health Research Network. Allscripts’ Veradigm payer and life sciences division also sells analytics tools to providers and de-identified patient data for biopharma researchers.

Healthcare providers have made forays into similar lines of business that compile and sell patient data, as well. Ventures such as hospital-backed Truveta have raked in millions of dollars in investments.

Cerner reported $1.5 billion in second-quarter revenue in July, up 9.5% from $1.3 billion from the year-ago period, which the company identified as the quarter most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cerner’s operating earnings for the second quarter of 2021 were down 66% to $49.6 million, the company reported. Cerner is due to announce its third-quarter financials on Friday.



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