Electronic health records (EHR) will deliver cost savings of $78 billion to the global healthcare industry between 2014 and 2019, becoming an integral part of future digital healthcare initiatives, according to a new report from technology research firm Juniper Research.

The report, Digital Health, Remote Monitoring & EHR Cost Savings, 2014-2019, says EHRs are crucial as the supporting infrastructure for a range of digital healthcare projects. New Accountable Care Organization (ACO) initiatives, where healthcare providers are remunerated according to the measured “wellness” of a patient population, are resulting in a rethinking of how healthcare needs should be addressed, supporting the evolution of digital healthcare, the report says.

The study finds that the medical profession will increasingly rely on EHRs to support disparate elements of digital health. “Advanced EHRs will provide the ‘glue’ to bring together the devices, stakeholders and medical records in the future connected healthcare environment,” Anthony Cox, associate analyst at Juniper and author of the report, said in a statement. Healthcare workers have become significantly more engaged in digital healthcare in the last 18 months, Cox said.

The report says two key factors are expected to buoy the digital healthcare sector. First, regulatory authorities are embracing the role of digital healthcare and imposing less stringent regulatory obligations on digital healthcare companies. Second, the principle of technologically advanced healthcare is becoming popularized through Apple’s HealthKit and Samsung’s Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions user interfaces.

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