HIE markets evolve, shifting priorities to actionable data

By Erin McCann
10:24 AM

A new report highlighting the evolving nature of health information exchanges (HIEs) found that the HIE market is shifting its priorities from that of connecting the ecosystem with exchange data and meaningful use incentives to turning data into “actionable information.” 

The IDC MarketScape study, "U.S. Health Information Exchange Platform Solutions 2012 Vendor Assessment," evaluated 16 vendors that offer a platform solution – which IDC Health Insight officials define as having development tools, published APIs, education of technical staff, a broad ecosystem of partners and professional services – for HIE and how those platforms have evolved. 

[See also: HIE on the upswing.]

The report shows the market’s priority shift towards transforming data into actionable information will enable emerging accountable care and collaborative care initiatives. This shift has lead to additional market consolidation among HIE vendors.

For example, since the IDC Health Insights report, "Vendor Assessment: Industry Short List for Health Information Exchange Technologies" was published two years ago, seven HIE vendors have been acquired or merged and new, nontraditional players have entered the market, including payers and telecommunication companies.

"The IT requirements for health information organizations and evolving care delivery and reimbursement models are too extensive for any one vendor to satisfy," said Lynne Dunbrack, program director, Connected Health IT Strategies at IDC Health Insights. "To address the business and technical requirements of accountable care, in addition to providing core HIE technologies, vendors are responding by developing, partnering, or acquiring analytics, collaborative care and patient engagement technologies."

[See also: IDC foresees big uptick in outpatient EHR adoption.]

Platform-as-a-service, officials say, will play an increasingly important role in delivering HIE capabilities as vendors look to create an ecosystem of strategic partnerships. Platforms will evolve over time to meet the needs of customers and partners in the ecosystem, often through self-development, according to report findings. In contrast, packaged solutions are designed to meet a very specific set of requirements. 

Vendors evaluated for this report include: AT&T, AxSys Technology, Caradigm, Carefx, Certify Data Systems, Covisint, dbMotion, IBM, Infor, InterSystems Corp., Medicity, OptumInsight, Oracle, Orion Health, RelayHealth and Verizon.