Precision Medicince

While precision medicine is high on most agendas, expertise, funds and IT sophistication seems to be holding a lot of organisations back.

According to a recent HIMSS Analytics report, nearly 70% of organisations with plans to conduct precision medicine intend to do so within the next 12 to 24 months, report Healthcare Informatics.

The report acts as a market snapshot of how US healthcare organisations currently approach and plan to approach precision medicine from an IT perspective. Despite the initial result, the study does highlight that many organisations with established programs are looking to expand their offerings into different clinical areas while improving their IT approach with current in-house solutions and dedicated precision medicine platforms.

HIMSS Analytics surveyed 100 medical and laboratory directors 5,460 US hospitals about their adoption of precision medicine initiatives. The study found that adoption has gone relatively unchanged from 28.5% in 2016 to 26% in 2017. The percentage of respondents answering “unsure” rose from 37.2% to 43% this year.

The authors explained, “There continues to be limited adoption across the U.S. hospital market as organizations may not have the necessary funds, technology, or clinical expertise on hand to initiate programs and provide precision medicine at the point of care. However, momentum continues to increase around the level of interest in developing this emerging clinical approach and while organizations currently conducting precision medicine expand their current approach across more clinical areas.”

Those leading the way are larger, research-based organisations such as academic medical centres and organisations with more than 500 beds. All of the academic medical centres participating in the survey are conducting precision medicine as well as 33% of integrated delivery networks (IDNs). Additionally, 45% of hospitals with more than 500 beds and 26% of hospitals with 251 to 500 beds also are conducting precision medicine. Worth noting is that 22% of hospitals with 50 or fewer beds also reported adoption of precision medicine.

The study revealed that most organisations conducting precision medicine continue to focus on oncology as their primary area due to the Precision Medicine Initiative and a large amount of the provided funds going to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for the development of cancer treatments.

However, the study findings indicate that from an IT perspective, organisations continue to primarily use a mix of solutions to meet their precision medicine needs. In 2016, about 18% of respondents with precision medicine initiatives in place used a combination of a dedicated precision medicine solution in conjunction with solutions already established in-house compared to 36% in the most recent study.

Finally, 24% of respondents reported using current in-house solutions only and 16% reported using a dedicated precision medicine platform only. The level of uncertainty around precision medicine and IT approach has dropped from just over 46% of respondents in 2016 to 16% in 2017.