There is no dearth of negative headlines about EDR software. Security breaches, data theft, poor interoperability, and lack of standardization are just a few complaints surrounding dental EDR software. Many practices complain that their productivity dropped after deploying an EDR, while not all dental professionals are comfortable with technology.
But it is not all doom and doom for the dental industry. If the present EDR landscape is littered with challenges, the future looks quite bright. A recent report valued the global market for practice management software at 888 million in 2015 with a projected CAGR of 6.8% for the next 6 years.
What will the market look like in 2024? For a start, the dental software market is expected to reach a value of USD 1.59 billion. That is a huge global market whichever way you look at it. There is plenty of room for providers deploying innovative features. The competition will be fierce and there will no doubt be a few losers in the process.
The research report outlines a few trends that will dominate the dental software industry in the coming years.
Rising Geriatric Population
Three factors will drive the increasing demand for dental EDR and software – technological advancement, government programs, and a rise in the percentage of senior citizens in the global economy. The world’s population is aging and will, in turn, push the market for oral health care services. In 2010, about 8% of the global population consisted of people who were 65 years or older. That number is expected to double by 20501.
An aging population will require more healthcare services. Combined with improving insurance coverage and the government’s push for more IT in healthcare, the market will explode in size over the next few years.
The Cloud Is the Future
There are many types of practice management and EDR software in the market. Over the last decade, there has been a general trend away from on-premise installations. Many companies have shifted over to the subscription-based model where software is delivered as a service over the Internet. Some EDR services are web-based, while others incorporate mobile devices into the mix.
Cloud-based dental software is expected to grow the fastest among all the deployment models. This is no doubt due to the increased flexibility, data backup, improved security and many other advantages that the cloud offers to practices, insurance companies, dental professionals, and patients.
Until now, North America has dominated the dental software industry in terms of revenue. Most of the major players are located in the US, although some providers are looking to expand to other regions. The government’s push for health IT along with high expenditure on oral care services has contributed to this dominance.
However, research indicates that the Asia-Pacific region will grow the fastest in the next decade. Countries like India, China, Japan, and Korea are stepping up investment in healthcare technology. Improving economic conditions in these regions is also a contributing factor.
The dental software industry is innovating rapidly in terms of features and services. EDRs offer many new tools that make data entry and retrieval easier for users. Quite a few applications integrate with other types of software like practice management apps and patient portals. Thanks to the cloud-based subscription model favored by developers, providers are able to push updates much more frequently than before. No waiting around for the next yearly update to get new features!
The dental EDR and software industry is facing many obstacles at present. But research indicates that the industry can take a more optimistic view of the future.