The medical industry has witnessed various technological changes over the years with the introduction of innovative medical equipment, technology, lab assays, treatment protocols and advanced EHR systems. There have been significant changes even in the way a medical transcription company, an important part of the healthcare industry, functions. With the introduction of EHRs, we see most medical transcription outsourcing providers focusing on offering EHR-integrated transcription services. Similarly, the medical device connectivity market is also changing and is expected to grow phenomenally in the near future.
The global medical connectivity market is expected to grow and reach a value of US $33.5 billion by 2019, according to a Transparency Market Research (TMR) report. The competition in this market is very high with top players channelizing their efforts towards developing innovative solutions in the medical field. In 2012 the main players in this market were Philips Healthcare, GE Healthcare, Cerner Corp and Capsule Tech which held around 80 percent of the market. Capsule Tech which held 40 percent of the market in 2012 has expanded it business globally with over 60 medical device manufacturers to meet the needs of hospitals and healthcare facilities. Other players like Philips Healthcare and GE Healthcare have consistently focused on research and development to develop new products and processes and thereby maintain their market share. Cerner Corp focused around acquisitions and strategic alliances with customers for its solutions like EMR and computerized physicians order entry (CPOE).
The TMR report segments the market into three based on end users:
- Home healthcare
- Others (long-term care facilities, care homes, skilled nursing homes)
Among these segments, hospitals hold a major share of the market as the integration of data from crucial healthcare equipment into EMR helps in saving time and also prevents errors in transcription. The mandatory EMR requirement is expected to boost the medical device connectivity market drastically in hospitals.
North America is the dominant market for medical device connectivity market globally with a value of US $5.74 billion in 2015. It is expected to grow in the coming years due to the growing geriatric population. Europe holds the second place followed by Asia Pacific and the rest of the world.
Based on component, the global market for medical device connectivity is segmented into:
- Wired hardware
- Wireless hardware
Among these three, the major market share is held by the wired hardware section and it is predicted to retain this dominance in the coming years as well. It is projected to achieve a market value of US $14.227 billion by the year 2019. The software segment is expected to show a growth rate faster than other segments in the near future, driven by the fact that most connectivity solution providers offer software solutions that support the existing infrastructure of the healthcare facility.
Just as speech recognition technology is still not totally reliable, which makes the services of a medical transcription outsourcing company highly relevant even in the current EHR era, medical device connectivity devices are also plagued by technical and operational glitches that cause major concerns. Though they have many advantages, a major technical challenge is associated with the translation of data from different proprietary device formats into a format that EMRs can understand. Operational challenges include support of multiple interfaces apart from serial connections, security protocols, support of standard wireless-networking security protocols and the support of dual-band wireless communications, as the TMR report analyst points out.