Unhealthy modern lifestyles, ageing populations and struggling national health services will combine to create a huge demand for Electronic Medical Records (EMR), according to a new report by medical intelligence company GBI Research. The new report shows that information communication technology (ICT) is to play a leading role in future medical care, as more efficient administration of diverse healthcare practices will lower costs. Governments are expected to drive the market by implementing national schemes to bring medical records up to date in a technological age.
Improvements in medical technology are enabling individuals to live longer, and many developed countries face spiraling healthcare costs due to aging populations, which places increased pressure on existing infrastructure. To counter this challenge, the World Health Organization (WHO) is promoting ICT-facilitated solutions, or eHealth, as key enablers for efficient healthcare services. Many countries across the world have already agreed that eHealth will play a major role in the future to improve access to high quality healthcare, and have declared action plans to adopt the new technologies.
According to a study by Harvard Medical School in 2008, administrative automation could cut five percent from total healthcare spending, which represents $100 billion in the U.S. This can be achieved through the simple reduction of adverse drug events, medical errors, and complications such as hospital acquired infections. Similarly, overuse of emergency departments and unnecessary ordering of clinical and radiology tests results in losses totaling $55 billion each year. Massive expense could therefore be saved by implementing EMR systems in healthcare practices, and a large number of government initiatives aiming to capture such savings are expected to propel the future EMR market.
This market is expected to be boosted by the large number of government initiatives taking place globally to transform patient records, reaching $7.8 billion globally by 2017, growing at a an anual rate of 10 percent. The U.S. is the largest national EMR market, accounting for more than 32 percent.