- The global healthcare analytics market is expected to reach $24.55 billion by 2021, up from $7.39 billion in 2016, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 27.1%, according to a new Research and Markets report. The fastest growth will occur in North America.
- Driving growth in healthcare analytics are government incentives for EHR adoption, the shift to value-based care, availability of big data, venture capital investment and advances in technology.
- Major growth opportunities for analytics include precision medicine, cloud-based analytics, patient registries and social media, but a lack of trained professionals, steep product costs and operational gaps between payers and providers could dampen the forecast, the report says.
While Big Data has been a hot topic for some time now, the healthcare industry is still determining how best to collect data and use it to improve quality while cutting costs. In a recent NEJM Catalyst survey, 40% of respondents said their use of data was not very effective or not effective at all. Another 36% said their data use was just effective, and 20% said they use data very or extremely effectively.
Mark Johannsson, academic dean of the College of Health Professions at University of Phoenix, says health professionals need to act now to close the skill gap that exists in data analytics. “It is imperative that health professionals make themselves familiar with what Big Data is, how it will impact the patient experience today and how it will shape interactions and outcomes for generations to come,” he wrote in a recent guest post in Healthcare Dive.
This will also require institutional and financial support from healthcare organizations to ensure professionals have the tools they need to generate value from data, Johannsson said.
Lack of interoperability is also a barrier to big data initiatives. In the NEJM Catalyst survey, 72% of respondents cited it as the chief impediment to enhanced use of patient data, followed by difficulty collecting data (62%) and time demands (60%).
Major EHR vendors are beginning to embrace open platforms that facilitate interoperability and patient identification, among other added functionalities. That, coupled with increased adoption of EHR by small hospitals, could help to boost effectiveness of big data programs.
Major players in the healthcare analytics market include Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Cerner, Health Catalyst, IBM and McKesson, according to the Research and Markets report.