March 2007

Scripting an aggressive growth strategy in e-Health

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In the U.S, TouchScript is a widely used e-prescribing solution. This software enables physicians to quickly generate and send prescriptions from the exam room to the pharmacy, using a wireless pocket PC device. With a touch of the screen, TouchScript physicians get instant access to dosing information and insurance status and a feedback on possible drug interactions, prior adverse reactions and allergies; thereby giving a measure of patient safety to each prescription

The advent of electronic health  records (EHR) heralded the automation of healthcare delivery and became a significant landmark as the discovery of penicillin in the medical world. Technological advances are helping the heal-thcare sector towards better gathe-ring, processing, management and distribution of medical data.

However, EHR is just a beginning in the rapidly expanding technology solutions market in healthcare. Policy shifts by various governments favouring cost-effective, high quality healthcare delivery are driving the healthcare technology market at an exponential rate.

This growth is set to increase in the coming years as wider penetra-tion of ICT in healthcare will become unstoppable. A study by the Rand Corporation suggests the savings in costs; it sees a saving of $80 billion in the annual $1.6 trillion healthcare budget of the U.S, if IT tools are to be used very judiciously. 

What is more, e-prescribing has significantly reduced the estimated 7000 deaths per year due to medication errors, reports eHealth Initiative (eHI), a Washington D.C based non-profit organization, and suggests electronic prescribing having the potential to save $30 billion in health care.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading player in the technology market in healthcare. Allscripts portfolio comprises clinical software, connectivity and information solutions, along with practice management solutions.

The Clinical Solutions arm of the company provides clinical software solutions, including electronic health record (EHR), electronic presc-ribing (e-presc-ribing) and document imaging solutions. The clinical solutions include TouchWorks, TouchScript, and TouchChart. The Practice Management Solutions comprise HealthMatics HER, HealthMatics Ntierprise, HealthMatics ED and EmSTAT and Canopy.

In the U.S, TouchScript is a widely used e-prescribing solution. This software enables physicians to quickly generate and send prescriptions from the exam room to the pharmacy, using a wireless pocket PC device. With a touch of the screen, TouchScript physicians get instant access to dosing information and insurance status and a feedback on possible drug interactions, prior adverse reactions and allergies, thereby giving a measure of patient safety to each prescription.

The TouchScript e-prescribing solution is used by physicians, on Dell Axim X3i Windows mobile-based pocket PC devices, and connects to the Internet via Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points.

The US healthcare IT market is to the tune of $20 billion. By 2011 it is expected to reach $35 billion in sales; a 14 percent annual compounded growth rate. The hospital segment, now contributing a larger portion of the market with 53 percent of sales, will see it diminishing by 5 percent in another four years …

TouchWorks software is a modular electronic medical record (EMR) that enhances physician's productivity by automating the common activities like prescribing, dictating, capturing charges, ordering labs and viewing results, providing for patient education and documenting clinical interactions. TouchWorks is available on the latest tablet PCs, wireless handheld devices, desktop workstations and the Internet.

Physicians Interactive Group of Allscripts covers clinical education and information solutions for physicians and patients with physician-patient connectivity solutions. Allscripts'  Medication Services Group offers prepackaged medication fulfillment solutions, including medications and software for dispensing and inventory control. Hospital emergency department information systems automate emergency room processes, including patient registration, triage, tracking and reporting. It enables emergency department information systems in hospitals to manage patient flow and the emergency department activity.

Main competitors of Allscripts in the EHR and practice management are Cerner, eClinicalWorks, Emdeon, Epic Systems,  GE, iMedica, McKesson, Misys Healthcare and Quality Inc. In the hospital segment, they are MedHost, Picis and Wellsoft Corporation.

Allscripts' Physicians Interactive Group faces competition from Aptilon Inc, Dendrite International Inc, Emdeon Corporation, Lathian Systems Inc, Medsite Inc, Quintiles Transnational Corp and Ventiv Health Inc.The Medication Services Group of Allscripts has competitors in Cardinal Health Inc., DRx, McKesson Corporation, PD-Rx Pharmaceuticals,  Pharmapac, Physicians Total Care and Southwood Pharmaceuticals.

Inorganic Growth

Allscripts' take over of ChannelHealth from IDX Systems last year has signaled the rapid expansion of e-Health industry. Expanding its market presence further, it added thousands of physicians to its client list. IDX is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Electric Company (GE). Allscripts provides ambulatory, point-of-care clinical EHR solutions to IDX's physician customers, numbering about 1.5 lakh.
 
Incidentally, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions is a Microsoft health care go-to-market partner and charter member of Microsoft's Mobility Partner Advisory Council (MPAC).

The US healthcare IT market is to the tune of $20 billion. By 2011 it is expected to reach $35 billion in sales; a 14 percent annual compounded growth rate. The hospital segment, now contributing a larger portion of the market with 53 percent of sales, will see it diminishing by five  percent in another four years, touching 48 percent. 

The homecare and nursing sector will overtake the hospital sector with about 51 percent share by 2011. The former, having a market size of $10 billion, is growing at 15 percent, and may touch $18 billion by 2011. With a rapidly growing market behind it, Allscripts can expect more growth ahead.  

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