EHRs (Electronic Health Records) will deliver cost savings to the global healthcare industry of $78 billion between 2014 and 2019, becoming an integral part of future digital healthcare initiatives, forecasts a new report from leading hi-tech analyst house 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 ACO (Accountable Care Organisation) initiatives, where healthcare providers are remunerated according to the measured “wellness” of a patient population, are resulting in a re-think in how healthcare needs should be addressed, supporting the evolution of digital healthcare.
EHR central to digital health ecosystem
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,” observed 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 randomised 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.
Regulators ‘embrace digital healthcare’
Nevertheless, it argued that 2 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 popularised through Apple’s HealthKit and Samsung’s SAMI (Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions) user interfaces.
The whitepaper, ‘Taking the Pulse of Digital Healthcare’ is available to download from the Juniper Research website together with further details of the full report and the attendant Digital Healthcare Excel.