Precision Medicine Buyer Challenges Marketing and Sales Teams Must Overcome

HIMSS Analytics

Many healthcare organizations with precision medicine initiatives in place are looking to expand their offerings. Although there is great interest in this area, there are still a number of barriers to entry. The most recent Essentials Brief from HIMSS Analytics uncovered three main obstacles to precision medicine implementation. 

Download a free Snapshot Report of the HIMSS Analytics 2017 Precision Medicine Essentials Brief

Looking at the Research

The participants of this study included clinicians, department heads, IT professionals and C-Suite members nationwide. To gain insight into what might be affecting the adoption rate of precision medicine, respondents were asked the following question: “What do you expect are the primary barriers of adoption for conducting precision medicine?”

Let's take a look at the word cloud below to understand anticipated barriers to entry.

Precision Medicine Barriers to Entry

Cost and Reimbursement Concerns 

When respondents were asked this open-ended question, financial issues were most often cited. The cost of new software - with little to no clarity around reimbursement - left respondents feeling somewhat uncertain about implementing precision medicine initiatives. As insurers have yet to come to a consensus on what to reimburse, and under what conditions, healthcare organizations are left to weigh the financial pros and cons before implementing any precision medicine solutions. The question of required resources, and their overall cost, also hinders the adoption rate of precision medicine.

One healthcare representative simply stated that their greatest barrier to entry is purely financial, and the uncertain nature of healthcare reimbursement makes it difficult for them to explore this emerging field.

Technical Questions

Technical challenges were cited as another barrier by respondents. With the rapidly changing diagnostic landscape, healthcare professionals are left wondering if their IT solutions and processes can keep up. The technology holds great promise, but organizations interested in a full precision medicine program must leverage the right set of solutions to meet their needs. And that could be a mix of integrating multiple systems with in-house solutions.

While one respondent noted that “merging of multiple disparate IT systems” was a huge challenge for them, another said that “ensuring the technology does increase patient safety” was their biggest challenge.

Clinical Uncertainties

Finally, a number of respondents noted concerns around precision medicine from a clinical standpoint. Organizations were worried about whether physicians would “buy into” including precision medicine at the point of care and how precision medicine findings would ultimately correlate with the patient’s clinical picture. In order for precision medicine to be effective, the proper clinical training and appropriate knowledge base needs to exist.

One study respondent, talking about the clinical challenges arising from precision medicine investment said that before they could invest they would need to see “clear and focused successes from both analytics efforts and efforts at integrating into clinical decision support.”

Promise of Precision Medicine 

Despite the barriers to entry, the 2017 study indicates that the level of interest in precision medicine continues to grow and there is great momentum in this space. 

Interested in Learning More?

Much more insight is available on this topic in our premium Essentials Brief. For a quick glimpse and to preview the full study, download our Snapshot Report! 


Download a free Snapshot Report of the HIMSS Analytics 2017 Precision Medicine Essentials Brief