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Oracle to acquire health records business Cerner in $30 billion deal

The deal would become the company's largest acquisition to date

A view of Oracle's office building in Silicon Valley, California

Enterprise software giant Oracle is reportedly in talks to acquire Cerner, a digital medical records business, for around $30 billion.

The deal could give Oracle massive volumes of health data for its artificial intelligence services, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cites sources familiar with the story.

If it does go through, it will be Oracle's largest acquistion ever, as well as one of the biggest takeovers of 2021.

Cerner is the second largest provider of electronic health record software in the US, just behind Epic Systems Corp. The company offers full IT services, including hardware, to medical facilities across North America and has over 29,000 employees around the world, with the majority based in Kansas City, Missouri.

Its business is heavily reliant on sales of software and IT services, but it has been looking to move deeper into new technologies and cloud services. The company recently collaborated with the Vaccination Credential Initiative, launching a global digital passport to for international travel to help manage the spread of COVID-19.

The firm is also a known partner of Amazon Web Services; the cloud provider was approached in 2019 to collaborate on AI services for healthcare projects.

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The proposed deal is part of a growing trend of software developers and cloud providers finding routes into healthcare. Microsoft announced a similar deal to acquire Nuance Communications for $19.7 billion earlier in the year. That takeover is currently being looked at by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority over concerns it will give Microsoft an unfair advantage in that particular market.

Other tech giants such as Google, Apple and even Facebook have also made in-roads into healthcare, with large acquisitions and new services. The social network is reportedly investing in a new wearable health tracker.

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