The market for electronic medical records (EMRs) is set to continue its rapid growth over the next five years, according to a new report by New York City-based research firm, Kalorama Information.
The research indicates that the market for EMRs was $23.2 billion in 2013, and by 2018, it says that the market will blossom to $36.4 billion. Already, the market has been in growth mode, says Kalorama, which notes the affect the Health Information Technology for Economical and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act has had on vendor revenue.
Revenue for vendors has grown 13.6 in just two years, from 2011 to 2013. The meaningful use incentives as well as the penalties for not using an EMR have been the main reasons healthcare providers have begun to adopt and invest in these systems, the report says.
The report looks at individual vendors, which have grown as a result of this boom. Epic, in particular is examined as a company that continues to rise to the top of the industry. The report notes how Epic has grown from revenue of $31 million in 1997 to an estimated $1.8 billion in 2013 (Healthcare Informatics had Epic’s revenue at an estimated $1.75 billion in the latest Healthcare Informatics 100).
"Epic is making inroads into the market and will undoubtedly provide sustained competition for Cerner in this area," Mary Ann Crandall, Kalorama analyst and the author of the report, said in a statement. "McKesson, although strong in the industry as a whole, seems to be losing hospital market share to some of the other companies more targeted in EMR."
Despite the growth of companies like Epic, the market remains fragmented according to Kalorama’s findings. Epic has 7.5 percent of the market share, McKesson has 14.7 percent, Cerner has 12.5 percent, Siemens has 7.3 percent, and GE Healthcare has 5.7 percent. A whopping 52 percent of the market is held by scores of smaller and mid-sized companies, up from 42 percent in the previous year.
The report notes that there are still concerns over usability and interoperability. Also, IT personnel staffing remains a problem for hospitals and group practices.