New IMV Research Study Shows Increased Implementation of EMR by Radiation Therapy Providers

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According to a recent study published by IMV Medical Information Division, radiation therapy departments nationwide are increasingly interfacing their oncology information systems with an EMR (electronic medical record). As of 2011, nearly two-thirds of radiation therapy sites have an EMR or complete patient record available in their oncology information systems, compared to just over half in 2007.

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According to a recent study published by IMV Medical Information Division, radiation therapy departments nationwide are increasingly interfacing their oncology information systems with an EMR (electronic medical record). As of 2011, nearly two-thirds of radiation therapy sites have an EMR or complete patient record available in their oncology information systems, compared to just over half in 2007.

While the majority of radiation therapy providers have used information systems for scheduling and billing for over a decade, the added incentive of the “meaningful use” criteria initiated in 2009 by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has increased the implementation of oncology information systems. The trend towards integrating patient records will continue, with nearly 80% of the planned upgrades or purchases of oncology information systems by radiation therapy providers incorporating EMR data, according to Lorna Young, senior director, market research at IMV.

The study also shows that digital imaging has continued to become integrated into treatment planning and simulation, and to guide tumor treatment in real-time.

“For treatment planning, nearly all (98%) of the radiation therapy treatment plans use CT images, 12% use MR images, and 12% use PET images,” Young said. The study finds the use of CT for simulation has displaced x-ray simulators, with CT simulators representing nearly three-quarters of the current simulator installed base.

IMV's 2011 Radiation Therapy Market Summary Report describes trends in the adoption of radiation to treat cancer. Equipment types covered include external-beam radiation therapy units, treatment simulators (including x-ray, CT, PET, and MR simulators), treatment planning systems, image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), record and verify/oncology information systems, and brachytherapy equipment.

Technologies covered include intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), inverse planning, rotational arc therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, and prostate seed therapy. Radiation therapy equipment and software vendors covered in this study include Accuray, Brainlab, Elekta, GE Healthcare, Nucletron (now owned by Elekta), Philips Healthcare, Siemens Healthcare, TomoTherapy (now owned by Accuray), Toshiba America Medical Systems, and Varian Medical Systems.

Highlights include:

  • The total number of patients treated using radiation therapy is estimated to be relatively stable, at 924,150 patients in 2010. While the use of radiation to treat cancer is relatively stable, the proportion of courses of treatment for breast cancer increased from 20% in 2007 to 24% in 2010.
  • One-third of radiation therapy sites are planning to purchase external-beam therapy units as replacement or additional units over the next three years, including linear accelerators and CyberKnife, Gamma Knife, and TomoTherapy technology.
  • For recent capital budgets from 2010 to 2012, the proportion of sites budgeting $1.5 million or more has grown from 16% to 23%, after an apparent constriction in budgeting starting in 2009. However, the proportion of sites with zero budgets has also increased between 2010 and 2012, from one-third to 40% of the radiation therapy sites.

The data source for this report is IMV’s 2010/11 Radiation Therapy Census Database, which provides comprehensive profiles of radiation therapy sites in the United States. The database can be licensed by qualified subscribers and includes contact and site-specific information. Applications of the database include market analysis, market development, target marketing, lead generation, installed base marketing programs, sales territory deployment, and competitive analysis. For more information about IMV’s Radiation Therapy Census Database and Market Summary Report, visit the corporate website at http://www.imvinfo.com or call 847-297-1404 to speak with a representative.

IMV Medical Information Division is a marketing research and consulting firm founded in 1977, specializing in medical imaging and other advanced healthcare technology markets. IMV's marketing research services, in combination with its databases of U.S. imaging sites with selected modalities, provide clients valuable assistance in strategic planning, customer satisfaction, product development, and sales initiatives.

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