During the HIMSS14 conference, Accenture released its forecast for the global EHR market which is projected to reach $22.3 billion by the end of 2015, with the North American market accounting for $10.1 billion or 47 percent. In particular, the U.S. market is predicted to reach $9.3 billion with a 7.1 percent annual growth rate and is expected to remain the largest EHR market globally.

Consolidation and EHR meaningful use in the U.S. are the big growth drivers, according to the consulting firm. Except for the U.S., the EHR market in Brazil valued at $400 million represents the next greatest relative growth opportunity as that country's Unified Health System initiative is expected to drive 9.7 percent annual growth over the next few years.

Accenture analyzed the global hospital-based EHR market focusing on 10 countries--Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, The Nordics, Spain, U.K. and U.S. China and India, however, "were not studied due to maturity levels of the health markets in those countries," stated the firm.

The worldwide EHR market is estimated to grow at 5.5 percent annually through the end of next year. Though Accenture forecasts a slower pace of growth globally, the Americas EHR market is expected to reach $11.1 billion by the end of 2015, easily beating a projected $4 billion in the Asia-Pacific region and $7.1 billion in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  

Asia-Pacific is forecasted to grow 7.7 percent to $4 billion overall by the end of 2015, with governments in the region expected to invest in EHR initiatives through 2018. Most notably, Japan's EHR market will reach $1.4 billion while Australia is predicted to grow to $700 million. In Europe, government-funded initiatives are expected to generate the region’s most significant EHR growth in the Nordic countries (5.1 percent), Germany (3.6 percent), and the U.K. (4.1 percent), which will remain the largest EHR market in EMEA (European Medicines Agency) growing to $2.1 billion by the end of 2015.

“Our research is clear that EHR growth may have slowed, but the market has nowhere to go but up,” said Kaveh Safavi, Accenture Health's global managing director, in a written statement. “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.”

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