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Industry Insight

Report: Patient Portal Market Set to Boom

Approximately 50% of US hospitals and 40% of US physicians in ambulatory practices possess some type of patient portal technology, mostly acquired as a module of their practice management or EHR system. While the availability of patient portals doesn’t necessarily translate into active provider or patient use, the technology is emerging as the key platform for various efforts around patient engagement such as access to medical records, communication with providers, education, wellness tracking, and e-visits.

Analysis from Frost & Sullivan’s “US Patient Portal Market for Hospitals and Physicians: Overview and Outlook, 2012-2017” predicts that the market will grow significantly over the next five years. The total US patient portal market for hospitals and physicians earned revenue of $279.8 million in 2012. This is expected to increase steadily, reaching $898.4 million in 2017, representing a 221.1% increase. The majority of revenue primarily will result from increased demand driven by myriad forces, including the need to meet stage 2 meaningful use requirements, the growing move to clinical integration and accountable care, and increasing consumer demand for HIT.

Patient portal adoption and active use is accelerating dramatically across the United States, driven by stage 2 meaningful use, which requires providers to adopt and use technology that allows patients to electronically view, download, and transmit electronic copies of their own medical records. In addition, providers that adopt patient portals will enjoy an advantage as patients increasingly demand convenient, 24/7 access to their financial and clinical data.

“The need to fully engage patients as a member of the care team is fundamentally about encouraging individuals to become more involved with their health care so they will be motivated to make behavioral changes that can positively impact their health status,” says Nancy Fabozzi, a connected health principal analyst for Frost & Sullivan. “That need will only grow as the health care system moves towards accountable care and value-based reimbursement. The importance of this movement cannot be underestimated.”

The majority of health care providers primarily are adopting patient portals that are built in or added on as a module to their practice management or EHR system. This adoption era can be considered “Patient Portal 1.0.” However, because the majority of solutions available today aren’t capable of providing the advanced interoperability and functionality needed to support clinical integration, accountable care, and ongoing and sustainable patient engagement, significant disruption is forecasted in the years to come.

“As health care reform and transformation advances, providers will seek new ways to engage patients and influence behavior beyond the point of care and will increasingly look to the more advanced solutions that are proven to consistently motivate patient compliance and sustained behavioral change,” Fabozzi says. “These solutions, which can be considered ‘Patient Portal 2.0,’ will have robust functions such as health information exchange across diverse care settings, integration of clinical and financial data, dynamic scheduling, social networking, gaming, avatars for personalized health coaching, and e-visits.”

— Source: Frost & Sullivan


Reed to Chair Mobile Health Policy Task Force

Morgan Reed, executive director of the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), was named chair of the Legal and Policy Task Force of mHIMSS, a mobile HIT organization.

“As chair, I plan to promote best practices and health care models that increase patient awareness and engagement with providers,” Reed says. “I will use my position at ACT ... to advocate for a legislative and regulatory environment that advances the pace of innovation in mobile health services. By increasing interoperability between mobile devices and anchored health systems, we will improve efficiency and patient outcomes.”

— Source: Association for Competitive Technology