The global market for dental software is growing at a furious pace. Research indicates that the market is set to grow at a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 11% through 2025. With growth like that, the industry will be valued at US $4.3 billion in 2025. There are many reasons for this explosive growth, ranging from high demand for dental care to increasing priority for healthcare IT systems.
Dental EDR – the Inflection Point
EDRs are not just an administrative tool, they improve clinical efficiency as well. The EDR market grew in response to a need for effective data management by dental practices. Dentists have to manage large volumes of data which includes administrative, operational, and clinical information. Previous generation record keeping systems relied on paper and had numerous disadvantages in an increasingly digitized world:
- It was not easy to search and find data when needed
- Files could get lost, stolen, and destroyed by natural or man-made disasters
- Systems for managing paper records were expensive to set up and maintain
- Paper records were time-consuming to create, edit, and destroy when no longer required
Early adopters of EDR software faced many obstacles and challenges. But today, you can hardly see a dental practice without a computer or mobile device for accessing patient records. It appears that the dental practice management software market has reached an inflection point. Software developers are designing systems that can work with each other, share data, and make it easier for dental professionals to help their patients.
Rising Demand for Dental Services
The population in developed nations is growing older. The demographic demands better access for oral care services as well as more sophisticated treatment procedures. While this is one of the reasons for increasing demand in the industrialized nations, developing regions like Asia are not far behind. Countries in the Asia-Pacific region are making your investments in healthcare services that also includes dentistry. Both these factors are driving the growth of EDR software and services.
Investment in Health IT
Like many other industries, technology is making its way to healthcare. Any dental clinic now uses at least a handful of different apps to manage patient and clinical data. Some EDRs are developed to work specifically on mobile devices, allowing dentists to access data on the go. EDRs also integrate with practice management software, analytical tools, and various other digital systems. The push for investing in health IT comes from several sources – government incentive programs, demand from users (patients, doctors, nurses etc.).
The Digital Life
As consumers, most people are accustomed to using digital apps and services for working, playing, banking, shopping etc. Many expect their healthcare provider to offer the same convenience. When social networks allow their users to download all their data, patients expect to take their medical files with them to a new dentist. EDRs – along with other tools like patient portals – make this scenario possible. There are many reasons a patient might decide to go to your competitor – poor service, shoddy dental work or even the simple lack of online appointment scheduling!
Given these myriad factors, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the dental EDR market is about to witness major growth. The shift from fee-based models to value-based care is also accelerating the adoption of dental software across the world. Today’s EDR services might well be unrecognizable compared to the earliest software packages. EDR vendors are releasing new features and improving existing ones by leaps and bounds. Many are gearing up to integrate even more functionality like analytics and population health management. Dentistry can look forward to some exciting years ahead!