The eRx market is expected to grow from $250 million in 2012 to $794 million by 2017 at a CAGR of 26% from 2012 to 2017. In February 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) which provides substantial monetary stimulus worth $20 billion towards the development of Healthcare Information Technology. In addition to this The HITECH Act designates electronic prescribing as an essential requirement for meaningful use under the electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs, thus driving the adoption of e-Prescribing systems. One factor contributing to the physician’s reluctance to a large extent in the U.S. has been that the federal law which prohibits doctors from prescribing controlled substances online, forcing them to alternate between paper and electronic prescribing methods. This becomes a tedious process for doctors and hence they may end up either not purchasing the system or discontinuing their use of eRx systems.
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The eRx market can be categorized by two types of usage modes offered by the service vendors, PC-based and handheld devices. The fifth segmentation of the market is by its end-user, i.e. hospitals and office-based physicians. The market is also studied by geography to understand the penetration of e-Prescription in the regions of North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and RoW.
High cost of the e-Prescribing systems and resistance to adoption of technology, by the physician fraternity, restrain the growth of this market. The market is also witnessing a growing demand for integrated e-prescription systems, facilitating the healthcare community to shift towards the implementation of a complete electronic health record system.
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The healthcare industry is plagued by the issue of privacy and maintaining security of patient data. This has been a roadblock for the entry of any new technological solution in the healthcare industry which involves patient data or patient medical records. Moreover, the limited access for experts opinion and technically trained IT professionals is expected to negatively impact the market because there is lack of awareness among end users mainly prescribers, pharmacist and associated staff regarding the working and function of applications, best vendors available in the market, cost of software and long term service provision.
Key players in the market are Cerner Corporation (U.S.), Allscripts (U.S.), Quality Systems, Inc. (U.S.), Emdeon (U.S.), and Athenahealth (U.S.).
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