More than 50 percent of healthcare providers do not have a healthcare IT roadmap, although they acknowledge the role of digital health in enhancing healthcare efficiency, according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan.
Connected health infrastructure is emerging as a binding agent for diverse devices and workflows, aiding diagnosis, monitoring and prevention in the healthcare industry. For such an infrastructure to be efficient, stakeholders must first ensure that interoperability and connectivity standards are in place, the report found.
Nonetheless, the majority of providers do not have a healthcare IT roadmap, said Shruthi Parakkal, Frost & Sullivan research analyst. “Consequently, even the existing interoperability standards such as HL7, DICOM and Direct Project are not being utilized optimally by many providers,” he said.
Furthermore, hospitals are often required to update processes and workflows through expensive upgrades and reviews of codes and software. This process becomes more complicated in the absence of vendors that can guarantee connectivity between devices from various manufacturers.
"Hospitals/healthcare providers have an urgent requirement for connected devices and health IT solutions not only to manage healthcare data, but also to qualify meaningful use requirements and be eligible for electronic health record incentives," noted Parakkal. "Therefore, manufacturers of vendor-agnostic and open medical connectivity solutions are in demand, as they facilitate the integration of devices from different original equipment manufacturers."
Alliances and gateways that harness interoperability and enable information sharing between devices and health IT solutions from different vendors will go a long way in augmenting connectivity. Meanwhile, technology advances in WiFi, Bluetooth, and radio frequency identification are also stoking market advancement, the researchers said.
Finally, the intensifying focus on healthcare interoperability in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines is expected to add thrust to the development of the market for healthcare and medical device interoperability and connectivity, the report found.