The global market for electronic health records (EHR) is estimated to reach $22.3 billion by the end of 2015, with the North American market projected to account for $10.1 billion or 47%, according to research released by Accenture at the annual HIMSS Conference in the US.
“Although the market is growing, the ability of healthcare leaders to achieve sustained outcomes and proven returns on their investments pose a significant challenge to the adoption of electronic health records,” said Kaveh Safavi, global managing director of Accenture Health. “However, as market needs continue to change, we’re beginning to see innovative solutions emerge that can better adapt and scale electronic health records to meet the needs of specific patient populations as well as the business needs of health systems.”
Accenture said the United States is expected to remain the largest EHR market in the Americas and globally with a projected annual growth rate of 7.1%, and will total $9.3 billion by the end of 2015. Brazil, projected at $400 million, may represent the greatest relative growth opportunity as a countrywide federal initiative, the Unified Health System, is expected to drive 9.7% annual growth over the next several years.
Although the Asia-Pacific region represents a smaller market, it is expected to grow 7.7% to $4 billion overall by the end of 2015, with country governments expected to invest in EHR initiatives through 2018. The Japanese EHR market is forecast to reach $1.4 billion while Australia’s market is projected to grow to $700 million by the end of 2015.
“Our research is clear that EHR growth may have slowed, but the market has nowhere to go but up,” Safavi said. “To be effective, EHR platforms must leverage newer technologies, such as analytics and mobility, to adapt to the changing needs of patient populations and better connect physicians and patients. As health systems gain more experience in meeting these goals, market growth for EHR will follow.”