The Indian electronic health records (EHRs) market, which accounted for approximately 9% of the Asia-Pacific (APAC) EHR market in 2018, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% through 2025. India’s plan to digitize its healthcare system with interoperable electronic health records (EHRs) will further drive the country’s EHR market, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Rohit Anand, Medical Device Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Lack of digitization and health insurance coverage are the two major challenges in India. The government needs reliable data on disease, tests and medicines to formulate a rationale healthcare policy.”
In July 2019, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Indian government released National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB). The ultimate goal is to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through ‘Ayushman Bharat’. The two key objectives of this program are to set-up 150,000 Health and Wellness Centres for primary healthcare and provide healthcare coverage to over 100 million poor and vulnerable families.
Anand adds: “UHC will generate a large amount of health data and digital health records can provide support and accelerate this transformation. EHRs will provide the Indian government with access to direct and reliable healthcare data and information on health conditions. This data will help the government to regulate the cost of treatment and medical research.”
However, the implementation of EHR is currently limited to major private hospitals such as Apollo and Fortis & Max, and few government hospitals such as AIIMS mostly in urban India. Lack of awareness, high initial investment, scarcity of trained staff and lack of mandatory guidelines to store healthcare records electronically are a few of the major barriers for low adoption of EHR in India.
Anand concludes: “An enormous effort by the government and support from clinicians is needed to make this project a success. In addition, a large population that the Government of India is planning to cover only understands local or regional language. Creating digital support systems in multiple languages is going to be a challenge. Safety and privacy of personal and health data are some of other issues that the government need to address.”