Health IT Market Shows Promise of Strong Growth, but Hurdles Remain

Despite the promise of growth, the report highlights constraints to the growth of the market, which include the high cost of health care IT solutions.

The North American health care information technology (HCIT) market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4 percent to reach $31.3 billion by 2017 from $21.9 billion in 2012 due to the increasing demand for clinical information technology, and administrative solutions and services, according to a MarketsandMarkets report.

The report noted the impact of IT on health care in the past decade has been modest, despite the huge potential, such as streamlining processes and reducing administrative overhead, and has the potential to transform the paper-based health care system into a digitized one.

Despite the promise of growth, the report also highlights major constraints to the growth of the health care IT system, which include high cost of health care IT solutions, high maintenance and service costs, interoperability issues, shortage of IT professionals, poor standard protocols such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and unprecedented growing incidences of data breaches of patient information.

In the study, the market is segmented on the basis of its applications, delivery modes and components. Based on application, the North American health care IT is segmented into provider--clinical information technology and non-clinical information technology--and payer, while the market by delivery mode is further categorized as on-premises, Web-based and cloud-based.

The key players in the market are Cerner Corporation, Epic, Carestream Health, McKesson Corporation, Athenahealth, Medical Information System, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, NextGen Healthcare Information System, Novarad Corporation and Hewlett-Packard (HP), all based in the United States, as well as Siemens Healthcare, which is based in Germany, GE Healthcare, based in the United Kingdom, and Philips Healthcare, which is based in The Netherlands.

Canada is expected to register the highest CAGR of 7.7 percent from 2012 to 2017 in the overall North America health care IT market, followed by the United States (7.2 percent). However, the United States accounted for the highest share--72.6 percent--of the North America health care IT market and is expected to reach $22.6 billion in by 2017, as compared to $15.9 billion in 2012.

"Major factors driving the growth of the health care IT market are rise in pressure to cut health-care costs, growing demand to integrate health-care systems, high rate of return on investment, financial support from the U.S. government, government initiatives, rise in aging population, growing demand for computerized physician order entry (CPOE) adoption in order to reduce medication errors, and rise in incidences of chronic disorders," the report noted.

The research report categorizes the North America health care IT market by delivery mode, by components and application. These markets are further broken down into segments and sub-segments, such as electronic medical records (EMRs), and laboratory information systems.