Healthcare information is everywhere, but it is not always being used to its fullest capacity. There is still a long way to go for fully integrated healthcare across the care continuum. Despite many advances in the use of patient data, there are several medical devices that are behind in the development process. Monitoring companies such as Philips Healthcare, GE Healthcare, and Draeger Medical continue to integrate their complete clinical platforms to ensure patient data is collected and incorporated at every stage of the patient care pathway. These manufacturers not only offer clinical devices, but also provide supporting clinical information software that collect and manage data. Compared to other clinical care devices, data from infusion pumps is still in the early stages of being fully integrated into the electronic medical record. As of 2017, IHS Markit estimated that infusion-related software accounted for 15% of revenues when compared to infusion hardware.
The development of infusion pump software
Software incorporation into infusion technology was initially focused on drug error reduction software (DERS). DERS allows an organization to create a library of medications that provides dosing guidelines, by establishing concentrations, dose limits, and clinical advisories. The DERS market is well established in most mature regions and accounted for the majority (78%) of global revenues attributed to infusion pump software in 2017.
The United States has led the adoption of software that enables clinical care devices to communicate with healthcare information systems and patient electronic medical records. This has been fueled by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The HITECH Act provided a reimbursement incentive for physician and hospital providers to be successful in becoming “meaningful users” of an electronic medical record (EMR) to maintain people's health information in place of paper records.
What is the future?
Further development in infusion technology has enabled infusion systems to connect to the electronic medical record via interoperability software. Interoperability software provides the ability to communicate and exchange data accurately, effectively, securely, and consistently with different information technology systems, software applications, and networks, in various settings. The software also enables the exchange of data such that the clinical or operational purpose and meaning of the data are preserved and unaltered. In terms of software installations, leading players in the United States including: BD; Hospira/ICU Medical; Baxter; and B Braun, have been paving the way for other infusion pump companies.
Uptake for interoperability software to date has been relatively limited to the United States, Middle East, and mature Asian countries such as Singapore and Australia. Adoption outside of the United States has been restricted by the fragmented market for EMR vendors that infusion pump companies need to work alongside to ensure software can fully integrate with the EMR solution. Implementation is not only costly, but also very time consuming. Companies such as Qualcomm with their Capsule product are bridging the gap in communication between the interoperability software and the EMR software to enable smooth data transition. Cybersecurity and perceived risks also continue to be limiting factors in the use of connectivity and interoperability software; both the United States and United Kingdom have provided guidance on the management of risks to be included in product development. Despite this, demand is projected to increase through the next five years. IHS Markit projects revenues for interoperability software used with infusion technology to double from an estimated $12.4 million in 2017 to $25.0 million in 2022, growing at a rate above that of infusion hardware.
As the use of infusion software increases globally, infusion pump technology will have the requisite of wireless capability, to ensure that when pumps are required to connect to information technology systems, they can do so. Furthermore, many medical devices are also now incorporating artificial intelligence as part of data management, with the aim to provide more intuitive healthcare. IHS Markit predicts this will be the next step in the product development of infusion pumps.
IHS Markit will continue to follow these trends as part of our coverage of the infusion pump industry, which comprises of syndicated reports on: infusion pumps and EHRs. For more information, please contact Kelly Patrick at [email protected]