Spending on Medical Transcription Services to Reach US$60.6 bn Globally by 2019, Offshoring Concerns Could Adversely Impact Growth

Medical transcription services have thus far been a niche within the healthcare industry. But as the automation wave sweeps across the healthcare industry, the role of medical transcription services is set to become exceedingly important. A concurrent standardization of medical reporting is being observed as healthcare outsourcing becomes a norm for the industry. In the midst of all of these changes, the medical transcription services market is expected to profit handsomely. Market intelligence firm Transparency Market Research (TMR) reckons that the global medical transcription market will generate revenues amounting to US$60.6 bn by 2019. The market’s valuation was pegged at US$41.4 bn in 2012. Expressed in terms of CAGR, this revenue growth stands at 5.60% CAGR from 2013 to 2019.

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While there is no dearth of factors that will create a fertile ground for the growth of medical transcription services, one that will particularly disrupt the status quo is the growing migration to electronic health records (EHR) from a paper-heavy way of life in the healthcare sector. Here are a few important questions that companies in the medical transcription services market should consider when they plan for the future:

Q. How profound will the impact of EHR be on the global medical transcription services market?

While most companies in the medical transcription services market have thus far focused on the services aspect, the time is now ripe for companies for also venture into the product/software developed side of the business. Companies that already boast a firm footing in the medical transcription services market can leverage their existing expertise of processes and standards to create medical transcription software that is more intuitive, interoperable, and comprehensive. Changes to this end have already been observed with audio recorders being increasingly replaced by state-of-the-art speech recognition software. 

Integrating medical transcription platforms with mobile applications is yet another trend that will grow stronger in the years ahead. Case in point would be ZyDoc, a U.S.-based company that offers informatics and medical transcription services that offers hospitals web-based EHR data insertion and web-based transcription services. To meet this end, the company uses its proprietary TrackDoc Flow platform.

Q. Concerns about offshoring medical transcription continue to persist. How is this being tackled by companies in the industry?

The growing emphasis on profitability in the healthcare industry has prompted the offshoring of medical transcription services to countries such as the Philippines, India, and China. However, the fact remains that providing medical transcription services requires a high degree of familiarity with medical terms, skilled manpower, and a high degree of accuracy. These concerns continue to cast a shadow on the growth of the global medical transcription services market as they entail finding a reliable transcription services partner without threatening jobs in the home country. However, with global medical transcription services providers such as Nuance Communications striving to address such concerns, the impact of this threat on the medical transcription services market could be alleviated. 

Nevertheless, it is evident that offshoring could become an even more prominent trend in the medical transcription services market especially with developing European witnessing the rise of medical transcription service organizations (MTSOs). 

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