The market for electronic medical records (EMRs) reached $24.9 billion last year, according to market researcher Kalorama Information.
The report cites government incentives, system upgrades, fear of penalties and the quest for efficiency in healthcare organizations as the main factors for market growth. Kalorama noted that sales grew 10 percent from 2012 to 2014, as more physicians and hospitals use EMR and acquire EMR systems, and as hospitals and physician groups upgrade existing systems. Kalorama included revenues for EMR systems, computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems, and directly related services such as installation, training, servicing, and consulting which are key profit areas for companies; picture archiving and communication system (PACS) or hardware were not included in the report.
Kalorama expects the market to rise to $35.2 billion by 2019, a forecast which assumes the trend of adoption will continue to move forward, although slow down some. According to the report, hospital EMR adoption will supersede doctors’ EMR adoption, and current meaningful use Stage 3 requirements will spur further upgrades, Kalorama predicts. "Expect growth this year and next at seven to eight percent, and stable growth until 2019," said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. "Eventually, there will be market saturation but this is a bit of a way off, especially in emerging markets."
Physician adoption is a major driver—continued gains have been made in physician adoption in EMR systems since Kalorama last reported on this topic in early 2014. There has been rapid growth but adoption has been uneven, according to the report. A little more than 81 percent of office-based physicians used partial or full EMR systems in 2014, an increase from 57 percent reported in 2011. What’s more, about 50 percent of physicians reported that they now have systems that met the criteria of a basic system, and about 20 percent reported having systems that met the criteria for a fully functional system. Physicians increasingly are adopting electronic medical records systems, even before government economic incentives for doing so have kicked in, the report revealed.