EMR Use Up Among Radiation Therapy Sites, External-Beam Tech Still a Growth Market, Says IMV

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In just four years, the implementation of information systems among radiation therapy sites as an integrated component of oncology treatment has climbed from 50% to two-thirds, according to new research from IMV Medical Information Division.

The group credits meaningful use incentives specifically for this increase, and expects adoption of EMR will continue to grow in the future as long as there's money to pay for it, with a significant majority of planned upgrades incorporating some form of health IT.&

The IMV Radiation Therapy Market Summary Report also claims that oncologists are using a variety of imaging modalities for treatment planning.

According to a statement from Lorna Young, senior director of market research for IMV, “nearly all (98%) of the radiation therapy treatment plans use CT images,” and another 12% each use MR and PET.

The press release accompanying the report also indicated, however, that the buying landscape may be uneven at best. In the past two years, the report indicates a slight uptick (7%) in the number of radiation therapy departments with capital budgets of at least $1.5 million (up to 23% from 16%). This has been offset by an equivalent increase in the number of sites without such a budget (up to 40% from 33%).

One positive note from the report is that external-beam therapies continue to make inroads, with one-third of radiation therapy sites planning either to replace or add to their current stock of “linear accelerators and CyberKnife, Gamma Knife, and TomoTherapy technology” by 2015.