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Artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics are generating significant buzz in the healthcare sector, but among the 93% of hospitals and health systems that have outlined an analytics strategy — just one-third have executed it, according to a survey of 110 senior leaders at hospitals and health systems conducted by HIMSS Analytics and Dimensional Insight.
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Failing to execute an AI strategy is a missed opportunity for health firms: The majority (57%) of executives at health firms currently deploying predictive analytics expect the tech to save their organization at least 15% over the next five years.
Here’s what it means: Hospitals’ dearth of effective analytics implementations is partly a byproduct of disparate tech solutions and siloed decision making.
- Hospitals haven’t identified a single tool that satisfies their analytics needs.Hospitals use an average of four analytics tools, and 17% use 10 or more tools. This may stem in part from a lack of mature healthcare analytics offerings on the market, as 42% of health firm execs say there aren’t a lot of ready-to-deploy AI and digital health solutions available. Hospitals’ patchwork approach to analytics further suggests that there’s a lack of strong solutions on the market and may create inefficiencies that impede on executing a successful analytics strategy.
- And the fragmented nature of analytics-powered decision making across departments may be hindering analytics investments. The majority (58%) of senior provider organization leaders say they can only influence decisions made based on analytics at a departmental or single-hospital basis only, as opposed to across their entire organization. This limited scalability of the insights generated by existing analytics solutions might make providers reluctant to expand analytics investments, as new tech solutions with a narrow use case may be less likely to yield a positive return on investment.
The bigger picture: The gap between hospitals’ interest in analytics and knowledge of best practices leaves a lucrative market opportunity for early moving providers and health IT vendors.
Health firms’ top IT priorities in 2019 are accelerating digital health initiatives and investing in AI and analytics, and most (54%) health firms expect that their IT budgets will grow at least 10% this year. Hospitals’ willingness to spend more on analytics suggests that IT vendors that can commercialize an effective software solution will attract a lot of interest.
Meanwhile, early moving providers like Pennsylvania-based health system Geisinger — which cut the time to diagnose internal head bleeding by 96% by implementing an AI algorithm into its radiology workflow — can reap the rewards of being an analytics market leader; becoming an analytics and AI leader now creates an opportunity to form strategic partnerships and commercialize new products down the line.
Here’s the industry opinion, as told to Business Insider Intelligence:
“Early on [in providers’ analytics implementations] the best use of third-party vendors is for developing the data architecture that allows you to generate insights from your data . . . and then once you understand how this process works you can bring your data back in house, because it’s expensive to rely on third-party vendors — especially for smaller organizations.” — Griffin Myers, CMO Oak Street Health
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