Electronic Health Records: US Patent Activity Overview 2006-2016

Electronic Health Records: US Patent Activity Overview 2006-2016

Electronic health records (EHR) has been designed to enable efficient distribution and compilation of healthcare data. EHR is a functional counterpart of all separate physical documents stored for every care-related protocol and clinical event of a patient (including registration, medical history, vital signs monitoring, and laboratory results). With EHR, healthcare providers can easily access and share pertinent medical information about a patient for improved care delivery.
 
In the US, the adoption rate of basic EHR systems by non-Federal acute care hospitals has risen to as much as 83.8%. [1] US Legislation, such as the HITECH Act of 2009 and the Cures Act of 2016, have also mandated incentives to fast track the transition from paper-based medical records to digital medical record-keeping. The US Government also enacted laws in an effort to push for EHR transition of the US health industry. About $44,000 per physician can be provided as incentives for EHR implementation that demonstrate meaningful use.2
 

Timeline

2004 – Formation of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)

2007 – HL7 releases the first functional model standards for EHR systems

2009 – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

– Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act

2010 – CMS finalized the EHR incentive program and defined the criteria for determining “meaningful use.”

2011 – ONC releases the final rule for Permanent Certification Programs for EHRs

2014 – ONC proposed technology certification criteria for EHRs

2016 – 21st Century Cures (Cures) Act

 

Also, in a national survey of physicians concerning EHR implementation [1]:

  • 94% of providers reported that with EHR, records are readily available at point of care
  • 88% of providers reported that EHR produced clinical benefits for practice
  • 79% reported that with EHR, their practice is more efficient
  • 75% delivered better patient care with EHR implementation
  • 75% received laboratory results faster

 

EHR Patent Filings and Adoption Rates

Patent filing activity on EHR and adoption rates have continued to increase in recent years.

An initial analysis of US patents showed that key players in EHR in terms of IP are Siemens AG, Cerner Innovation Inc., General Electric Company, Philips, and Medtronic, Inc.

*Note that the USPTO’s First Office Action Pendency is at 15.9 months, as of February 2017.


References:
1Jamoom, E., Patel, V., King, J., & Furukawa, M. “National perceptions of EHR adoption: Barriers, impacts, and federal policies.” National conference on health statistics. 8 Aug 2012.
2Shah, Jaymeen, Mirza Murtaza, and Emmanuel Opara. “Electronic Health Records: Challeges and Opportunities,” Journal of International Technology and Information Management 23.3/4 (2014): 189-204.

Authors:

Parola Analytics
Parola Analytics
jsaulon@parolaanalytics.com