Amazon partnered with Cerner to let patients share their Halo wearable data with providers

  • Amazon is integrating Halo data into Cerner EHR.
  • The tech giant's health monitoring tools will likely help it score research tie-ups, similar to Apple.
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Cerner — which commands 26% of the US EHR market — is letting users of Amazon's newly unveiled Halo wearable opt to share data generated from the wristband with their providers, including data on activity, sleep, body fat percentage, and wellness.

For example, patients can share their body fat percentage with their provider through the Cerner HealtheLife App, which will show progress toward their health goals and help inform doctors' care decisions. San Diego-based Sharp Healthcare will be Cerner's first health provider to integrate Halo data.

Integrating wearable insights into a patient's EHR will drive more providers to incorporate wearable data into their treatment plans. Providers are interested in leveraging data from wearables to better manage patients' health outcomes: Wearables collect health data in real time, which could offer physicians a better store of biometrics to reference than data from one hospital visit alone, helping to, for example, detect chronic disease at an earlier stage.

However, barriers like lack of interoperability between devices and EHRs often stand in the way of seamlessly sharing data. Only 13% of providers are "very satisfied" with their EHR system's ability to engage patients in treatment plans through mobile technologies, per a pre-pandemic Stanford survey — suggesting it'd be valuable to have health insights like body fat percentage and activity input directly within a patient's EHR.

As more research institutions turn to wearables for data collection and participant recruitment, we expect Amazon's Halo to emerge as a challenger to the likes of Apple and Fitbit. For example, Apple is using its Watch to score tie-ups with big-name players in clinical research: Johnson and Johnson tapped the Apple Watch to study atrial fibrillation (AFib) and stroke risk earlier this year. And competitor Fitbit is deepening its research presence, too: It launched a health study similar to Apple's to strengthen the validity of its wearable as a tool for AFib detection in early May.

While Halo offers comparable sleep-tracking and heart-monitoring tools to the Watch and Fitbit devices, we think Halo's body fat percentage measurement tool — which it claims is on-par with an in-person clinical evaluation — could help it eventually nab research partnerships on a similar scale to Apple. For instance, the gold standard for a body composition analysis is the DEXA scan, which can cost upward of $100 per scan at a lab — and we think research institutions may begin to gravitate toward Amazon if it can offer a similar clinically effective tool for a fraction of the price ($65). 

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