Why McKesson acquired CoverMyMeds: “untapped treasure trove”


Drug distributor and health care technology firm, McKesson, recently announced it would acquire CoverMyMeds for $1.1 billion. This is a company that automates prior authorizations online through electronic health record systems but this is only one way the company is developing new analytic tools to help solve problems for specialists.

McKesson says it’s also creating a new analytics tool for oncologists using advanced algorithms and natural language processing technology to read and re-format previously unstructured information. This helps healthcare companies that are collecting more data on patients but struggling to realize the full value of this data because much of it cannot be analyzed in traditional data bases.

Kathy McElligott is McKesson’s chief information officer and chief technology officer. She and her team of about 10 in house data scientists, project managers and cancer experts have been working since last July to develop the technology. So instead of information at disparate, digital sources within oncologist’s practices, they can now help match cancer patients with the right clinical trials with data that’s more searchable.

Ms. McElligott says “all this information from electronic health records is an untapped treasure trove of information.”

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