Health informatics is defined as the knowledge, skills, and tools that enable the information to be collected, managed, used and shared for supporting the delivery of healthcare services and promoting health. Health informatics is one of the fastest growing segments of information technology and computer science. It is an application of information technology and computing disciplines for solving the problems in the field of healthcare. The need to reduce cost and increase efficiency within healthcare sectors is leading to the development of new healthcare concepts like managed care. Recent development in healthcare sector creates the need for data collation and analysis, thereby strengthening the need for adequate information systems. Although, the role of IT within healthcare sector is gaining importance, understanding of its potential still remains fragmented.
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Clinical informatics industry is expected to reach the value of $6.5 billion by the year 2012 owing to the increase in level of adoption of clinical informatics networks. The number of hospitals adopting the electronic health record (EHR) systems for monitoring and recording the health related data of patients is growing day by day. Another reason for growth of health informatics industry include shift in priorities of healthcare providers for achieving meaningful use certification under CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). Compliance of health informatics with HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) is also a major factor responsible for substantial growth in acceptance of clinical informatics networks.
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Growth of health informatics market is mainly attributed by two major factors. First being the increasing use of EMRs and EHRs by medical professionals for improving the quality of their services and second being reduction in operating costs of hospitals and related healthcare facilities in near future. The US market for EMRs was estimated at $2.18 billion in 2009 which is forecasted to rise to $6.05 billion by the year 2015 at the compounded annual growth rate of 18.1% during the forecast period from 2010 to 2015.
Healthcare industry is striving to improve the quality of delivering healthcare services and at reduced costs. Federal government and state and regional organizations are investing in this market for bettering the services like computerized health records. Department of Health and Human Services in US is providing better reimbursements for small practices involving certified Electronic Health Records (EHR) which is expected to boost this market in upcoming years.
Some of the major players of this market include 3t Systems Inc., Accuro Healthcare Solutions, Adaptis, Agfa HealthCare Corp., Allscripts, Amcom Software, Axiom Resource Management Inc., Benchmark Systems, Cardinal Health, Cerner Corp., CGI, CNSI, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Companion Technologies, and others. Allscripts was the biggest contributor in EMR and EHR market in 2010 with the market share of around 15.7% of the physician office market.