EHR market projected to grow 6.6% annually in Europe

The next wave of opportunity for electronic health record vendors may be in Europe, according to a recently published report from Kalorama Information.

EHR adoption varies considerably in Europe. The Nordic countries have been using the technology for more than 10 years, but adoption in the U.K., Germany, France and Spain is "on course" with adoption in the U.S., according to the report.

While the European EHR market reached revenues of $6.8 million in 2012, that figure is expected to reach $8.8 billion by 2017, a growth rate of 6.6 percent.

By comparison, the EHR market in North America is projected to grow 7.85 percent annually until 2015, based in large part on government support, according to a report from TechNavio released in late September.

"Many of the EMR systems in various countries are outdated and not very efficient, creating an opportunity for new competitors," Kalorama analyst Mary Ann Crandall said in an announcement. "Most EMR systems used in Europe are of local design, but several companies are making inroads in this area."

Leading vendors in the U.K., Germany and France include Cerner, CSC/iSoft, InterSystems and Siemens.

The issues spurring EHR growth in Europe mirror those in the U.S., including longer life expectancies and technological innovation. However, individual nations in Europe have specific EHR needs, which will increase challenges for vendors.

"Electronic medical records are definitely coming into their own in Europe, though the process of implementing these systems has been a struggle both from a financial standpoint and from a functional standpoint," the report's authors said. "The rate of European EMR adoption is due to a mixed bag of varying economies, government involvement, buying patterns, funding, standards, and language barriers."

To learn more:
- read the Kalorama announcement