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EHR Vendor Cerner Launches Clinical Research Operating Unit

The EHR vendor’s new operating unit, Cerner EnvizaSM, will focus on making the clinical research process more inclusive and efficient.

EHR vendor Cerner has announced the launch of a new operating unit, Cerner EnvizaSM, that aims to offer data-driven solutions and research services to advance the clinical research process.

Cerner partnered with life sciences vendor Kantar Health to create the new business unit. The vendors said their combined expertise is set to accelerate the discovery, development, and deployment of therapies to improve health outcomes.

Currently, new therapies take an average of 17 years and $2.5 billion to finally reach patients.

Cerner Enviza aims to get therapies to patients more quickly and efficiently by bridging industry and technology boundaries through a network of research-ready health systems.

“The true promise of the digital age is to use data to improve everyday health around the world,” David Feinberg, MD, Cerner president and CEO, noted in a press release. “Healthcare is far too complex, inefficient and expensive. We have to break down industry silos and evolve from simply accumulating data to generating meaningful insights that can accelerate therapy development.”

“With Cerner Enviza, we can arm researchers with diverse tools and datasets to help them address these challenges and help change the way we develop and deliver care for our patients,” Feinberg continued.

The EHR vendor’s new operating unit will also focus on broadening the availability and participation in clinical research trials. A recent study revealed that only 3 percent of physicians and patients participate in clinical trials, and only a fraction of eligible patients end up receiving the new treatments, Cerner officials noted in the press release.

“With Cerner Enviza, we bring together the expertise, assets, and capabilities of Kantar Health with Cerner’s technology and access to a large collection of deidentified patient health data,” said Mike Kelly, global head of Cerner Enviza. “Our approach unites the life sciences and healthcare providers to support research and trial opportunities across this ecosystem.”

“The goal is to significantly reduce the timeframe and cost from idea to therapy delivery to help achieve better patient outcomes,” he continued.

The launch of Cerner Enviza comes after the EHR vendor recently announced that Children’s Health of Orange County (CHOC) has joined its Learning Health Network (LHN) to advance pediatric clinical research.

Launched in early 2020, the EHR vendor’s LHN is made up of a diverse group of 74 diverse health systems that are helping to fuel Cerner Real-World Data (CRWD), a national de-identified dataset that includes 88 million patients and 786 million clinical encounters.

The nationwide network is designed to help health systems access representative data and research resources to accelerate clinical research and trials.

“We’re thrilled to welcome CHOC to the Cerner Learning Health Network,” Christy Dueck, Cerner vice president of real-world data and clinical research, said in a public statement.

“The LHN has the potential of bridging the clinical research disparities that exist today for children,” Dueck continued. “It is significant to have pediatric healthcare systems like CHOC join us to advance this cause and help accelerate the discovery, development, and deployment of groundbreaking insights and medicines.”

Louis Ehwerhemuepha, PhD, CHOC’s lead data scientist, has joined the LHN Governance Council. Ehwerhemuepha will work with other council members to provide independent review and guidance regarding the use of CRWD for clinical research purposes.

The council aims to ensure that the use of LHN data is ethical, confidential, and represents the interests of patients, providers, and healthcare organizations.

Additionally, Bill Feaster, MD, chief health information officer at CHOC, will lead the Pediatric Community of Practice, a group of LHN members that collaborate on pediatric research knowledge and skillsets.

Feaster, Ehwerhemuepha, and their teams have published several studies using CRWD, including one that examined whether patients with a history of malnutrition are predisposed to severe COVID-19.

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