Healthcare Technology Featured Article

June 26, 2015

Frost & Sullivan Reveals Cloud-Based LIMS are Essential in Europe's eHealth Strategy

The application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in healthcare has delivered new levels of efficiency, improved quality of care and revolutionized the way the industry operates. However, in large part, the promise of the technology is mostly unfulfilled. The lack of uniformity in the industry is highlighted by shining examples of ICT implementation, as well as total disregard for it. In Europe, the first eHealth Action Plan was adopted in 2004, and a little more than a decade later the disparities of ICT application throughout the EU are more than obvious.

A new Frost & Sullivan analysis of the Western European laboratory information management systems (LIMS) reveals this particular segment can help itself if it focuses in offering hosted software-as-a-service in addition to meeting the needs of organizations in the value chain.

The amount of data generated in the medical field is massive—whether it is in research, laboratories, trials or the daily grind of general practice, and using all of this data effectively requires a management system that can make the information easily accessible. The LIMS software is designed to improve lab productivity by managing samples and associated data to automate workflows and integrate instruments more effectively. 

If properly deployed, LIMS gives laboratories a set of tools to store, track and assess data across experiments and timelines to evaluate the information for overall improvements in operational efficiency.

The market for the region is not very large, but according to Frost & Sullivan it will reach $394.1 million in 2021, compared to $303.5 million in 2014. The analysis goes on to say the segment can thrive, but it has to consolidate its resources to be more efficient.

Healthcare Industry Analyst Srinivas Sashidhar at Frost & Sullivan said, “Instead of each laboratory operating its own LIMS and having vendors maintain the systems individually, a remotely located LIMS hub can support all laboratory operations within the region. The hospital laboratories integrated with this chain will also establish Web-enabled electronic patient records. Overall, this Service Integrated Architecture model will be an easier and cost-effective method for laboratory management.”

In addition to consolidating their resources, the analysis also suggests integrating LIMS with electronic laboratory notebooks to automatically share the data in real time. This includes bringing LIMS together with other digital information systems in hospitals and other facilities so healthcare professionals can access the information they need any time.

The healthcare industry is a multi-trillion dollar behemoth that cuts deep in the GDP of countries around the world. Any solution that delivers even the smallest amount of efficiency to save costs is welcome. The only thing left to do is to convince the health industry to start deploying LIMS and other ICT related solutions as soon as possible. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino
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