Why the EHR market continues to grow

Market research shows 6.4 percent global growth
By Bernie Monegain
10:56 AM
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Paper-based records are being phased out at a rapid pace in healthcare, and digitization and virtualization are creating a whole market within the global healthcare industry, according to Transparency Market Research, or TMR, whose researchers say the trend will continue until 2020.

The ball has been set rolling with more than 54 percent physicians in the U.S. adopting electronic health record systems, as of 2011, researchers point out the estimates reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. In the same year, 50 percent of physicians who were not already using an EHR system said they planned to invest in one within the next 12 months.

[See also: EMR market to grow even without carrot.]

A similar change is taking place in the U.K., where the National Health Service is slated to go entirely paperless by 2018.

The global electronic health records market is projected to show a CAGR of 6.4 percent between 2014 and 2020. This marks an imminent phase of moderate growth that will largely be seen in traditional markets, according to TMR.

The global EHR market can be segmented based on the way the EHR systems are installed as Web-based or client server-based. Client server-based accounted for the better part of the market share in 2013, when considered from the revenue perspective. But, the CAGR of web-based EHR systems is expected to be higher through 2020 largely because the systems have only a nominal upfront cost, and do not call for the installation of hardware systems and components.

The market for EHRs can also be classified based on the end-users who purchase such systems. Hospitals were the dominant segment by revenue in 2013, as 90 percent of all hospitals in the United States had a certified EHR system in 2013, according to the Annual Health IT Survey conducted by the American Hospital Association.

[See also: EMR market surpasses $23 billion and EHR vendor marketshare and MU attestations by vendor.]

Most of the hospitals opted for a client server-based EHR because it facilitates faster data transmission between multiple facilities when compared with cloud-based electronic health record systems, according to TMR findings. However, the future growth prospects of the ambulatory centers end-user type are expected to be most promising for cloud-based vendors. With minimal or no upfront costs to ambulatory centers, cloud-based EHR systems offer an appealing solution, say researchers.

About 42 percent of the total global EHR market was held by North America in 2013. The second largest market was Europe, followed by Asia Pacific. Until 2020, these rankings are unlikely to change, as North America will continue to hold a lead over other regional markets supported by solid government funding, according to TMR.

The EHR market is gathering steam in Australia and New Zealand as well as Asian countries such as China, Japan and India. The three Asian economies will exhibit the fastest growth, and will grow consistently to contribute to a major chunk of the market revenues by 2020, according to the report. 

The leaders in the electronic health records market have a grip on more than 50 percent of all revenues. The leading players include: Cerner, Epic, Allscripts, GE Healthcare and Epic Systems, according to TMR.