Electronic health records (EHRs) are expected to save the global healthcare industry $78 billion between 2014 and 2019, according to a new report from Juniper Research.
The report, Digital Health, Remote Monitoring & EHR Cost Savings 2014-2019, argues that EHRs are crucial as the supporting infrastructure for a wide range of digital healthcare and mHealth projects. New accountable care organization (ACO) initiatives are resulting in a re-think in how healthcare needs should be addressed, supporting the evolution of digital healthcare, the report says.
The report finds that the medical profession will increasingly rely on EHRs to support disparate elements of digital health: “Advanced EHRs will provide the ‘glue’ to bring together the devices, stakeholders and medical records in the future connected healthcare environment,” said the report’s author, Anthony Cox. He also noted that healthcare workers have become significantly more engaged in digital healthcare in the last 18 months.
However, the report cautioned that positive developments are being offset by the lack of randomized controlled mHealth trials, and the diverse nature of the global healthcare industry. This means that digital healthcare approaches often require buy-in from a large number of stakeholders, and have to be tailored for each geographical region.
Nevertheless, it argued that two key factors are expected to buoy the digital healthcare sector. Firstly, regulatory authorities are embracing the role of digital healthcare and imposing less stringent regulatory obligations on digital healthcare companies. Secondly, the principle of technologically advanced healthcare is becoming popularized through Apple’s HealthKit and Samsung’s SAMI (Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions) user interfaces.