HIMSS Analytics: Expect rapid growth for portal, data mining, radiology barcoding apps

Patient portals, clinical data warehousing/mining and radiology barcoding applications are poised for rapid growth among hospitals, according to the HIMSS Analytics report "Essentials of the U.S. Hospital IT Market, Winter 2013 Edition."

Though more than half the health systems, hospitals and clinics in a recent KLAS survey reported offering a portal, the HIMSS report says of the three application types, "first-time purchases of these advanced [electronic medical record] applications are expected to increase greatly among hospitals across the country."

It also predicts a high volume of replacement sales for several foundational applications that have already saturated the market, including laboratory barcoding, pharmacy management systems and information systems for radiology and laboratory departments.

"While multiple industry factors are driving the health IT purchasing decisions forecasted in this report, they all align back to one common goal--improving the quality of patient care," Lorren Pettit, vice president of market research for HIMSS Analytics said in an announcement. "The findings presented in this report suggest there is an opportunity for vendors and consultants to assist hospital leaders in their efforts to improve care by helping them realize their full EMR capabilities.

Only the portals are clearly tied to the Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements. A Frost & Sullivan analysis from last September predicted the portal market would grow from $279.8 million in 2012 to $898.4 million in 2017--a rate of 221.1 percent. Still, not all portal vendors adequately support Meaningful Use Stage 2, a KLAS Research report published the same month concluded. It reported that "some providers are confident in their portal's ability to satisfy the basic Meaningful Use Stage 2 criteria, but others are still waiting for a portal to meet their needs."

The HIMSS report, meanwhile, links the predicted growth in sales for clinical data warehousing/mining applications to efforts to extract value from investments in EMRs and projected sales increases in radiology barcoding applications to patient safety initiatives.

The ECRI Institute listed big data tools in its "Top 10 Hospital C-Suite Watch List" technologies for 2014. The global healthcare analytics market is projected to be worth more than $21 billion by 2020, according to MarketsandMarkets.

In October, the National Science Foundation awarded grants totaling nearly $900,000 to the University of Texas at Arlington, Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center at Dallas to develop data mining tools for electronic health records.

To learn more:
- find the announcement
- here's the report's introduction (.pdf)