North American health IT market to hit $31.3B by 2017

The health IT market in North America is forecasted to hit $31.3 billion by 2017, up 7.4 percent per year from $21.9 billion in 2012, according to a market report from Dallas-based MarketsandMarkets.

Although U.S. providers represent 72.6 percent of the market, the market is growing more quickly in Canada with a compounded annual growth rate of 7.7 percent, according to an announcement describing the research. The Canadian market is expected to leap from $15.9 billion in 2012 to $22.6 billion in 2012, driven in part by a publicly funded health structure.

Factors driving health IT market growth include pressure to cut healthcare costs, various government initiatives and accompanying financial support, increased demand for computerized physician order entry (CPOE), the aging population and increases in the number of chronic disorders, according to the report.

Constraints to further market growth include the high cost of health IT, including maintenance and service, problems with interoperability, and a growing number of data breaches, the report said.

The U.S. market could soon include a huge new customer: the U.S. Department of Defense. DoD published a solicitation earlier this month inviting electronic health record vendors to demonstrate their "off the shelf" enterprise EHRs as it looks to replace its legacy VistA system.

The market growth is likely to come with significant consolidations of health IT companies through mergers and acquisitions, Tom O'Connor, managing director at New York-based Berkery Noyes, said earlier this year in an interview with Healthcare Informatics. More vendors are fighting for bigger shares of a limited hospital market, he said.

For more information:
- here's the announcement
- read the DoD solicitation