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Cerner Kicks Off 2019 App Challenge As Apple Enters the EHR Market

Cerner, a major electronic health record (EHR) vendor, has announced an initiative to encourage developers to build EHR-focused apps using its platform.

  • Cerner has kicked-off a competition in order to bolster the contents and recognition of its “App Gallery.” The App Gallery is akin to Salesforce’s proprietary “App Exchange.”
  • Developers who enter their projects for the 2019 app challenge are asked to focus on building tools to help customers understand and use health information in the EHR.
  • The winning development team will receive guidance from the Cerner engineering team through the validation process.
  • If the app completes validation, it will join the exclusive ranks of the sub-40 apps on Cerner’s App Gallery.

Source: SoftwareReviews Electronic Health Record Report, Accessed July 19, 2019

Our Take

While Cerner ranks among the top two EHR vendors in terms of market share, the SoftwareReviews EHR report shows that Cerner ranks comparatively lower in terms of product capabilities and customer satisfaction. Contests like the App Challenge are a method of projecting that the organization is looking to innovate. Moreover, these initiatives encourage top-tier talent to develop for the Cerner App Gallery, a platform that needs to expand its offerings beyond 40 apps to remain competitive.

This push for innovation comes at the same time as Apple’s announcement that it is expanding its iPhone EHR functionality to all healthcare organizations. The iPhone EHR is essentially a patient’s core medical record without the added functionality like scheduling or billing that vendors like Cerner bring to the table. However, Cerner can capitalize on the major technology vendor’s entrance into the healthcare space by using the App Challenge contest to support the developers that tie Apple’s iPhone EHR capability into the existing Cerner ecosystem.

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