Despite the presence of well-known companies such as IBM, 3M, Dell and Wal-Mart, no single company dominates the market for electronic medical records (EMR), according to a report from healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information. The report, “EMR 2010 (Market Analysis, ARRA Incentives, Key Players, and Important Trends),” a survey of EMR markets in the year since the U.S. government announced incentives for physicians who implement and use EMR in their practices, presents a market that is wide open for more competition and new entrants.
According to the report, the EMR market is estimated at $13.8 billion in 2009. However, Kalorama estimates that at least seventy percent of that market represents sales to hospitals and health systems. Because of the scale of operation, capital and support needed to service hospitals, large IT companies such as McKesson, Cerner, Eclypsis and MediTech, who were doing business with these customers prior to the EMR incentives, have a fairly strong hold on that segment. The remainder of the market, consisting of sales to physician practices and web sales, is a smaller target, but one with more opportunity according to Kalorama Information.
Allscripts, Epic, eClinicalworks, athenahealth and NextGen are among the leaders in sales to physicians, but no one company has even one fifth of the entire physician EMR market, according to the report. This is due to a variety of reasons. The trending towards acquiring EMR is fairly recent, software programs are often offered in conjunction with products offered by billing software vendors, and the physician market represents a multitude of customers in various regional markets which makes for a slower sales process. The report indicates that brand recognition among physicians is also fairly low: when doctors are surveyed no particular brand sticks out in any kind of numbers and ratings of brands tend towards the middle range. Both market share and brand awareness could rapidly change, however, as some of the large companies that entered the market in 2009 show results with their marketing efforts.
“No one has closed the deal yet for physician mindshare, at least not yet,” said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. “And that is good news for companies that are considering entering the system with a product that has enhanced functionality.”
Kalorama’s report “EMR 2010 (Market Analysis, ARRA Incentives, Key Players, and Important Trends)” has market projections, pricing comparisons, and profiles of major competitors in the industry. It is available at: http://www.kaloramainformation.com/redirect.asp?progid=77462&productid=2503320.