Oracle is nearing a deal to acquire Cerner, a US supplier of health information technology services, devices, and hardware. Update: The deal is official, full details here.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that the deal could be worth around $30 billion, making it the largest acquisition in Oracle's history.

Cerner develops computerized health systems and electronics records for hospitals, competing with Epic Systems Corp and Athenahealth Inc.

Much of these records have been historically stored on Cerner's own data centers, including 23.5 million health records of US veterans. But in 2019, the company began shifting to the cloud - announcing it planned to move some workloads to Amazon Web Services.

"Our work with Amazon and AWS is a key component for the next chapter at Cerner," Brent Shafer, chairman and CEO of Cerner at the time, said.

"As we work to transform Cerner, we are joining forces with Amazon and AWS to help fuel our strategy of making Cerner more agile in order to deliver faster, more scalable and secure solutions to clients and patients. We expect this collaboration with Amazon and AWS will enable a new wave of innovation that can lead and transform the future of healthcare."

An Oracle acquisition would likely spell the end of that partnership, with Oracle operating its own rival cloud platform.

Major cloud platforms are all competing for healthcare workloads, a lucrative and growing sector. This year, Microsoft acquired healthcare AI company Nuance for $19.7bn, while AWS has picked up numerous contracts from the UK National Health Service, to name but a few.

Google, too, has its eyes on the healthcare sector, but has struggled to gain traction. Last year, Cerner rival Epic Systems said that it would stop using Google Cloud due to a lack of interest among health system clients.

This year, the head of Google Health quit the company to take a new job as CEO of Cerner.

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