Driven by evolving consumer expectations, healthcare IT startup funding for digital healthcare, such as telehealth or wearable technology, is expected to double in the United States over the next three years, growing from $3.5 billion in 2014 to $6.5 billion by the end of 2017, according to new research by Accenture.
“A digital disruption is playing out in healthcare that will change social interactions, alter consumer expectations and, ultimately, improve health outcomes,” said Dipak Patel, managing director of Accenture’s patient access initiatives. “This momentum will be sustained if digital healthcare start-ups apply capabilities that create a seamless patient experience and result in both medical cost savings and improved outcomes.”
According to new research from Accenture, despite slower-than-expected growth, the global market for electronic health records (EHR) is estimated to reach $22.3 billion by the end of 2015, with the North American market projected to account for $10.1 billion or 47 percent, released today at the annual HIMSS Conference in Orlando.
According to Accenture, although the worldwide EHR market is projected to grow at 5.5 percent annually through 2015, Accenture’s previous research shows that would represent a slowdown from roughly 9 percent growth during 2010. Despite the slower pace of growth globally, the combined EHR market in North and South America (The Americas) is expected to reach $11.1 billion by the end of 2015, compared to an estimated $4 billion in the Asia Pacific region and $7.1 billion in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
“Although the market is growing, the ability of healthcare leaders to achieve sustained outcomes and proven returns on their investments poses a significant challenge to the adoption of electronic health records,” said Kaveh Safavi, global managing director of Accenture Health. “However, as market needs continue to change, we’re beginning to see innovative solutions emerge that can better adapt and scale electronic health records to meet the needs of specific patient populations as well as the business needs of health systems.”
Driven by consolidation and the federal Meaningful Use guidelines, the United States is expected to remain the largest EHR market in the Americas and globally, with a projected annual growth rate of 7.1 percent and will total $9.3 billion by the end of 2015. Along with increasing U.S. market demand, Brazil, projected at $0.4 billion, may represent the greatest relative growth opportunity as a country-wide federal initiative, the Unified Health System, is expected to drive 9.7 percent annual growth over the next several years.
According to a recent Accenture survey, more tech-savvy seniors are seeking digital option for managing their health services remotely. With an estimated 3.5 million U.S. citizens a year expected to reach 65 years-old through 20231, many want access to healthcare technology, such as virtual physician consultations (42 percent) and self-serve tools (62 percent) like online appointment scheduling. Only a third of healthcare providers currently offer such capabilities.
Accenture says that the rising population of seniors are active online. Internet use between 2000 to 2012 tripled for those 65 and older and doubled among those 50 to 64 years old. Accenture says that at least three-fourths of Medicare recipients access the Internet, at least once a day, for email (91 percent) or to conduct online searches (73 percent) and a third access social media sites, such as Facebook, at least once a week.
Two-thirds of seniors (67 percent) surveyed say that access to their health information is important, but only 28 percent currently have full access to their electronic health records. Similarly, 70 percent of those surveyed believe it’s important to be able to request prescription refills electronically, but, fewer than half (46 percent) say they can do so today. And, the majority (58 percent) want to be able to email healthcare providers, but only 15 percent say they currently have that capability.
“Just as seniors are turning to the Internet for banking, shopping, entertainment and communications, they also expect to handle certain aspects of their healthcare services online,” said Jill Dailey, managing director of payer strategy, Accenture Health.
According to a new survey by Accenture, and featured in Healthcare IT News, among other publications, more U.S. consumers (41 percent) are willing to switch doctors for access to electronic health records.
According to more than 9,000 people in nine countries, people are becoming more engaged with their EHRs and are going so far as to make the switch.
However, “only about a third of U.S. consumers (36 percent) currently have full access to their EMR, but more than half (57 percent) have taken ownership of their record by self-tracking their personal health information including their health history (37 percent), physical activity (34 percent) and health indicators (33 percent), such as blood pressure and weight.”
Roughly four out of five consumers (84 percent) surveyed believe they should have full access to their electronic medical record while only a third of physicians (36 percent) share this belief. In contrast, the majority of U.S. doctors (65 percent) say patients should only have limited access to their records and that is what most individuals (63 percent) say they currently have.