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Report: EHR Industry Anticipates Titans to Spur Innovation

Hundreds of patents, a secret project with a number for a name, machine learning to prevent heart attacks. Even high-tech spoons for patients. These are among the developments big tech companies are bringing to health care. And according to a new report from Kalorama Information, it's the steps taken by the US government and the success of hundreds of companies selling EHR software to US hospitals that has established a meaningful infrastructure for technology companies to follow. The market researcher said that as of 2017, approximately 97% of US nonfederal acute care hospitals had a certified EHR and approximately 84% US hospitals had adopted a basic EHR system. This according to the firm's report EMR 2018.

"The EMR efforts have moved hospitals from paper to digital records," says Bruce Carlson, whose Kalorama Information has covered EMRs since 2007. "The next step is for tech giants to glean the data and improve upon that infrastructure. We'll be talking about EHR in different ways in the next 10 years."

Kalorama notes that these three companies have filed more than 300 health care patents between 2013 and 2017, including the following:

Although Amazon has not officially announced details, industry rumblings indicate that Amazon has been working with a secret project team that is exploring platforms for EMR data, health apps, and telemedicine. This secret team is known as 1492 and is working on extracting data from EMRs to make it more useful to health care providers. Reportedly, the team is also working on building a telemedicine arm, using technology to make virtual doctor/patient consultations a reality. Recently, the team is extending its existing Amazon products such as Amazon Echo and the Dash Wand to fold into the health care setting. Additionally, in May 2017, Amazon was considering entering the pharmaceutical industry selling and delivering drugs. Of course, Amazon is strong in the e-commerce supply chains which will be an asset to the company in entering the health care arena. As of April 2018, Amazon announced it is abandoning its pursuit of selling pharmaceuticals, but it expressed continued interest in selling medical products.

Microsoft has a number of projects that are or will impact the digital health arena including the following:

Google is involved in myriad health projects—such as Liftware Level, a spoon that allows someone with movement restriction to feed themselves. It has also designed glucose monitoring contact lens for diabetics, wrist computers that read diagnostic nanoparticles injected into the bloodstream, implantable devices that modify electrical signals and medication robots. Google DeepMind is another initiative by Google that uses mobile technology to send alerts to clinicians whenever a patient's condition deteriorates. In addition, Google is encouraging health, fitness apps and devices through its Android operating system.

Kalorama's report EMR 2018 covers the developments in EHR from these companies as well as Facebook, Apple, and others. The report is available at www.kaloramainformation.com/updates/EMR-Market.

— Source: Kalorama Information