Healthcare analytics market poised to skyrocket

Federal mandates, technological advances, increased healthcare IT adoption and venture capital investments are among several drivers of the global healthcare analytics market, which is projected to be worth more than $21 billion by 2020 according to a new report from MarketsandMarkets.

Currently, the market is valued to be worth an estimated $4.4 billion, but according to the report, will grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 25 percent over the next six years. That growth will primarily be driven by predictive and prescriptive analytics in both the U.S. and Asia, the report's authors say.

End users that will most heavily influence the market's growth include healthcare providers, health information exchanges and accountable care organizations, according to the report. In the U.S.--which "dominates" the market--federal mandates such as the Meaningful Use program and ICD-10 will be critical to such growth.

Factors that could hinder growth, according to the report, include data security issues, cultural barriers to IT adoption and a lack of skilled workers in the analytics field.

Some healthcare organizations, such as Kaiser Permanente, currently are taking advantage of data analytics tools to improve patient outcomes. For instance, Kaiser Chief Medical Information Officer John Mattison, speaking at a conference earlier this month, said that Kaiser's Southern California hospitals achieved mortality rates 26 percent lower than at other hospitals in the system thanks to the use of data analytics tools.

Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, meanwhile, is using data analytics to track the cost of every procedure, piece of equipment and supply its 22 hospitals and 185 clinics use; the idea is to have data available so physicians and patients can discuss costs and outcomes prior to making treatment decisions.

Edward Marx, CIO at Texas Health Resources, recently talked to FierceHealthIT about how he uses data analytics to solidify the budgetary processes of the IT department. Marx referred to the concept as "evidence-based budgeting," and said it takes "emotion" out of what should be primarily a dollars-and-cents equation.

A report published in October by Framingham, Mass.-based IDC Health Insights concluded that health payers are putting more stock into the effectiveness of big data and analytics tools at the moment than providers.

To learn more:
- read the report summary