Healthcare in Europe is becoming increasingly digitised as the healthcare delivery system undergoes tremendous change. However, electronic technology that is transforming various areas of business is yet to be fully explored in the area of medication prescription with challenges related to the poor basic level of automation and technical barriers to the ease of use first needing to be overcome. Nevertheless, the rising popularity of wireless and handheld devices are set to promote the adoption of e-prescription systems. Such systems are set to offer considerable benefits, while exhibiting limited drawbacks, spurring their uptake.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (healthcareIT.frost.com), European Markets for e-Prescription Systems including integrated and stand-alone e-prescription systems, finds that the market was worth $95.4 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach $449.7 million in 2015.
"Having experienced tremendous growth in the United States, e-prescription is on course to be accepted by the healthcare system in Europe," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Jayapradha T E. "With an increase in the acceptance of integrated healthcare solutions, government initiatives and the need to reduce medical errors caused by paper prescriptions, the e-prescription market is expected to carve a niche for itself in the global healthcare arena."
There is a mounting need to ensure greater mobility for both patients and health professionals. This has resulted in attempts to modernise healthcare IT systems through the electronic exchange of data, improved networking and benchmarking at the EU level. This, in turn, requires the effective integration of economic, organisational and clinical information across the healthcare spectrum.
"The drive towards enhanced healthcare mobility, reduced costs and improved efficiency, paralleled by an emphasis on patient safety and service quality, is having a direct positive impact on the e-prescription systems market in Europe," states Jayapradha.
However, resistance among prescribers to adopt the technology of e-prescription has hampered the delivery of such systems in the healthcare industry. Physicians' discomfort with software products has to be overcome. Though there are reports that explain the benefits of e-prescription, there is only limited empirical data and evidence to support such claims.
"A major challenge relates to the reluctance of prescribers to use e-prescription solutions," remarks Jayapradha. "Moreover, there is a lack of empirical evidence to support the benefits of e-prescription systems."
European physicians lack awareness about the advantages of e-prescription. There is a generalised view that training is required to use the system and that such training consumes a considerable amount of time. This is posing problems in the marketing of new technologies and their use in physician practices.
"Good change management and stakeholder engagement are vital to overcome the reluctance of health professionals to shift from paper-based to electronic-based prescriptions," comments Jayapradha. "There is also a need for more empirical data through research to prove the benefits reaped by existing users of e-prescription."
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European Markets for e-Prescription Systems is part of the Healthcare & Life Sciences IT Growth Partnership Services programme, which also includes research in the following markets: European Medical Equipment Services Market, European market for Medical Display Monitors, Archiving Requirements for Image Management, European PACS Market and European Integrated National/Regional Health Information Networks. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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European Markets for e-Prescription Systems / M3D4