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EHR investments slowing down as hospitals cite high costs, study finds

The expense of software and implementation, as well as concerns about data security, are slowing growth in a global market moving toward $33 billion.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Hospitals spent nearly $25 billion globally on electronic health records in 2017 and that is projected to increase to $33 billion by 2023 but signs are also emerging EHR spending is starting to slow down, according to a report from Allied Market Research.

Specifically, the cost of software and implementation are inhibiting growth from being more robust. There has also been an increase in concerns related to the safety and security of the data contained therein.

Still, growth is happening, led by an upsurge in the adoption of cloud-based EHR software, a rise in the incidence of chronic diseases and a larger aging population. The potential to cater to untapped markets could provide opportunities for future growth, the report found.

The on-premise software segment contributed more than half of the total market share in 2017, owing to the availability of a wide range of customizations and interoperability options. 

Yet the cloud-based software segment would likely grow at the fastest CAGR of 5.3 percent during the forecast period on account of low upfront costs and less time required for implementation.

The inpatient EHR segment contributed more than half of the total market share in 2017 and would continue to maintain its lead position throughout the forecast period. On the other hand, the ambulatory EHR segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR of 5.6 percent from 2017 to 2023, owing to the ease of operating such systems.

Reporting is projected to grow about 6.5 percent, largely because of a reduction in the burden associated with data collection, and the ability to represent data and information in a standardized format. The clinical application segment accounted for about one-third of the market share last year and will continue to be dominant. Other applications include healthcare financing and clinical research.

Specialty centers are expected to see the fastest growth, although hospitals kicked in more than 43 percent of market share and should maintain relative dominance over the forecast period.

North America accounted for nearly half of the global market share, and will continue to do so, although slightly faster growth is expected in Asia.

Twitter: @JELagasse
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