Top healthcare analytics companies now and in the future

IBM Watson
IBM Watson is well suited for future analytics capabilities that integrate several data sets, according to Chilmark Research rankings.

Healthcare analytics is gradually becoming more user-friendly thanks to advancements across the vendor community that prioritize real-time insights.

But with healthcare organizations still straddling the line between fee-for-service payments and value-based care reimbursement, analytics companies are largely focused on helping providers bridge that gap, according to a report released by Chilmark Research. Currently, most analytics vendors incorporate an equal mix of EHR and claims data, but in the not-too-distant future that software will rely on a much wider variety of data sources like patient-generated data, mobile technology and social determinants of health.

“The amount and variety of data, as well as its value, is set to grow dramatically in the coming years,” Brian Murphy, an industry analyst with Chilmark, wrote in the report.

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Some companies are more prepared than others to take on that challenge, based on grades Chilmark gave to 18 different healthcare analytics vendors. Some notable takeaways from those ratings:

  • Cerner and Health Catalyst are leading the way when it comes to current product capabilities, with an A-minus rating. HealthEC and Epic were close behind with a B-plus rating.
  • Advisory Board, Allscripts, Conifer, eClinicalWorks, MCIS and WellCentive were in the bottom half of vendor rankings based on current capabilities, with grades ranging from C-minus to C-plus.
  • IBM Watson Health appears to be well situated for the future of healthcare analytics. The company got the highest marks for product vision with an A-minus. Health Catalyst, athenahealth and Cerner each received a B-plus.
  • Advisory Board, Conifer and eClinicalWorks each received a C for product vision.

Aside from the traditional vendors, insurers are advancing analytics that can contain costs and improve care. In June, Oscar launched a machine learning tool to get useful data in front of physicians, and Humana CMO Roy Beveridge, M.D., has said he sees the insurer as a data analytics company “more than anything else.”