Global EHR market to hit $22.3 billion in 2015

The Americas will remain the largest market for electronic health records (EHR), accounting for roughly 50 percent of the global market by the end of 2015.

Accenture research estimates that the size of the global EHR addressable market will grow at an annual rate of 5.5 percent (CAGR) to reach $22.3 billion (USD) by the end of 2015. This represents a slowdown from the growth rates previously forecasted by Accenture, which were as high as 9 percent in some markets.

Accenture forecasts that the Americas will remain the largest market for EHR, accounting for roughly 50 percent of the global market by the end of 2015. Specifically, the US will spur this growth, growing annually at 7.1 percent to $9.3 billion by the end of 2015.

Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are expected to be worth $7.1 billion by the end of 2015, with a CAGR of 3.3 percent. Asia Pacific (APAC), with a smaller addressable market but faster expected growth rate of 7.7 percent annually, will close the gap, reaching $4 billion in value over the same period.

Expectations of slower growth are driven by factors including economic challenges in many markets, a shortage of government funding and incentives, competing priorities for healthcare leaders and inconsistent returns on investment achieved by EHR solutions.

As the needs of local markets change, regional stakeholders will increasingly demand innovative solutions that can better adapt and scale to suit the needs of their populations and patient mix, both in terms of finances and operations. New solutions are likely to fall into three categories:

Broad EMR/EHR solutions: These are the traditional solutions already employed in mature markets such as the US by large vendors, offering the broadest range of functionality through large-scale implementation exercises.

EMR as a service: Cloud-based solutions represent a growing opportunity, particularly for providers who cannot make large up-front investments and are willing to trade off other benefits of traditional systems.

Population health management: This more holistic approach integrates EHR within a care management platform and emphasizes data-driven population health across the care continuum. Structured and unstructured data sources, such as biometric, behavioral and genomic data, are standardized and inform personalized care plans through robust analytics capabilities.

In practice, health systems may require elements of all three models, especially as information needs change or care delivery is pushed downstream to ambulatory settings and other alternative care settings. Vendors need to build disruptive solutions that combine the best of the current proposition with new funding and delivery mechanisms.

All stakeholders in the marketplace will need to embrace new ways of working – and often forge new partnerships/alliances – as they develop innovative models for securely sharing patient data and implementing or augmenting EHR solutions. The status quo is not an option for any player in this space anymore.