The Next Tech Goldmine: Medical Records

According to a story at CNNMoney, there are an estimated 300 to 400 companies in the United States peddling electronic medical records (EMR) systems to the nation’s hospitals, medical clinics and solo practitioners. While some, such as GE Healthcare and NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, are part of corporate behemoths, the vast majority are small, privately held firms like eClinicalWorks.

As the EMR field heats up, thanks in part to a big push from the federal government, analysts expect a frenzy of spending — and consolidation. From a field of hundreds, a few victors will emerge. The question is, will the little guys get bulldozed by giants, or will smaller and nimbler players outmaneuver the Goliaths?

The natural cycle of the tech industry favors agile startups in a technology’s primordial days, which this still is for the electronic records industry.

“I see the market expanding into interesting approaches, instead of shrinking and becoming dominated by a few monolithic players,” says John Halamka, CIO and dean of technology at Harvard Medical School. “There are so many heterogeneous things out there now, from large systems to iPhone apps.”

Photo by IBM.

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