A patient portal is a secure online website that gives patients convenient, 24-hour access to personal health information from anywhere with an Internet connection. Using a secure username and password, patients can view health information such as recent doctor visits, discharge summaries, medications, immunizations, allergies, lab results, etc. Some patient portal also allows sending secure messages to the doctors, requesting prescription refills, scheduling non-urgent appointments, checking benefits and coverage, updating contact information, making payments, and downloading and completing forms.
Patient Portal Market During COVID-19
The COVID-19 outbreak impacted the growth of the Patient Portal market positively as the visits to hospitals for medical consultation decreased due to fear of getting infected. The usage of the patient portal made it easier for the patients to be able to consult the healthcare providers online, book appointments online, and request refills online among others.
Patient portals are an important form of patient engagement solution that is gaining popularity across the globe. The use of health information technologies and online resources in healthcare boosts care quality by improving care access, efficiency, chronic disease management, and patient & family involvement. The patient portal market is projected to reach USD 2.74 Billion by 2020 from USD 1.19 Billion in 2015, at a CAGR of 18.1% during the forecast period. The growth of the overall patient portals market can be contributed to federal mandates like meaning use, growing patient-centric approach in healthcare delivery, increasing EHR adoption rate, and growing popularity of patient portals among the elderly. On the other hand, data security & privacy concerns, the high cost of deployment of patient portal solutions, and the requirement of infrastructural investments to support patient portals are some of the factors expected to restrain the growth of the market to a certain extent.
Patient Portal Market Driving and Restraining Factors
Rising demand for EHRs and increasing adoption of patient-centric approach by healthcare payers are boosting the market growth. EHRs are gaining popularity as the healthcare industry’s digitalization accelerates. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than half of upper-middle- and high-income countries have implemented national EHR systems. As the government undertakes different projects to digitalize the healthcare system and standardize infrastructure & legislation for keeping health records, the demand for patient portals is increasing.
Governments all over the world are focusing on establishing the regulations, infrastructure, and standards for maintaining health records, which is driving the market growth. My Health Record is Australia’s national digital health record platform, to have a health record for the majority of citizens by 2022. This would facilitate the retrieval of healthcare data stored on the platform, which would be advantageous for all healthcare providers in the country.
Moreover, the aging of the population and the prevalence of chronic diseases continue to exert strain on the capacity and financial viability of healthcare systems. In addition, innovations in healthcare technology, connected devices, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence are providing great potential for health data and insights, enabling healthcare professionals to make more accurate diagnoses and treatment decisions.
This would be accomplished by integrating the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and big data with other innovations to enhance patient-doctor connections and provide accessible healthcare services. However, concerns over data privacy and security, together with the high cost of adoption and deployment of these tools, are serving as a major barrier to industry expansion. Furthermore, the patient portal market is led by hospitals in emerging countries adopting new healthcare technologies. In March of 2019, Huawei Technologies and Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital signed a partnership agreement for the development of a wireless healthcare facility in China.
Changes in regulations and acceptance of digital health strategies around the world are expected to drive up demand for the digitization of paper-based health records. Furthermore, technology companies that already provide software and services to healthcare providers can expand their customer base by acquiring pharmaceutical companies that are conducting clinical trials. However, data security and privacy concerns, as well as the need for infrastructure to support servers, may limit the market’s growth.
Engaging patients in the delivery of health care has the potential to improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction. Patient portals may enhance patient engagement by enabling patients to access their electronic medical records (EMRs) and facilitating secure patient-provider communication. Thus, the patient portal market has shown significant growth over a forecast period.