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05-03-2017 03:17 PM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: Healthcare IT Industry


Electronic Medical Records – Digital Transformation in Managing Patient’s Records

The global healthcare sector is undergoing a wave of transformation, with digitization being the core focus area of service providers. Healthcare IT products and systems are in high demand in emerging nations such as India, China, Brazil, Indonesia, and also Israel, as part of the ongoing upgrade of healthcare infrastructure in these countries. This is expected to propel growth of the electronic medical records market in these regions. Deployment of EMR systems involves long-term collaboration between the system developer and user. This service offering generates a continuous revenue model for electronic medical record service providers. The global market is therefore expected to grow at a sustainable rate over the foreseeable future.

The question for sustainability of this system arises on account of the existence of electronic health records (EHR), which allows easy access to patient health records irrespective of the time and physical location of the user. The EHR system, however, finds major applicability in large hospitals, and diagnostic centers thus paving the opportunity for EMR in smaller and medium-sized private clinics and health centers, which account for a major share of the healthcare practices.

The global electronic medical records market was valued at US$ 21,444.4 million in 2015 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 6.9% during the forecast period (2016 – 2024).

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Ever-evolving patient needs ably met by easy to access EMR

Patients demand efficient healthcare service with access to proper medical records. Hospitals, clinics, diagnostic laboratories and ambulatory centers are constantly improving their healthcare infrastructure. Installation of electronic medical record system significantly reduces physician’s time and improves decision making. A digital mode of storing patient’s medical records allows the physician to revisit the patient’s medical history under his/her medical therapy and guidance. Increasing inclination of patients towards gaining easy access to their medical records through digital mode would propel implementation of electronic medical records. Moreover, this factor is also driving upgrade of the existing EMR systems making it more efficient and integrated to offer better patient care services. Catholic Health Services (CHS) and University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) achieved Stage 6 recognition (almost fully automated/paperless medical records) by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics in March 2017. Thus, demand for better technology-enabled care will drive growth of the electronic medical records market.

Inconsistent return on EMR systems hindering market growth

As age increases, risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular attack, neurological conditions, and cancer also increases. This in turn increases patient visits to specialty centers or hospitals equipped to treat and monitor such diseases. Thus, multiple doctor visits leads to uncertainty and redundant load on the electronic medical record system. Thus, healthcare facilities are facing challenges in quantifying monetary return on EMR systems. Moreover, competing priorities of healthcare facilities compromises on the use EMR system. Furthermore, affordability is a major challenge in emerging economies, deterring adoption and growth of electronic medical records market.

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Digital transformation to underpin the adoption of EMR in emerging economies

Healthcare industry in emerging economies such as India, China, and Brazil is at the cusp of digital transformation. This could be the best opportunity for the electronic medical records market players to capitalize on the opportunity. Deployment of proper IT infrastructure coupled with personnel training would be required to support the growth of EMR market in these regions. As majority of population in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa belong to bottom of the pyramid, cost would be a major hindrance for growth of the EMR market. Local players are expected to gain ground by offering low cost products. Supportive regulations and favorable government incentives to implement EMR systems would be a major boosting factor for healthcare facilities in emerging economies.

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