Report: Health IT to become 25% of healthcare market

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Health IT is the fastest growing segment of the $1 trillion global healthcare marketplace, and its 11 percent combined annual growth rate is likely to continue through 2013, according to a report from the life sciences consulting firm Scientia Advisors.

Although the growth presents opportunities for companies to sell more inpatient and outpatient EHRs, expand internationally and provide clinical decision support systems, Scientia’s report cautioned there may be barriers for a company to remain competitive, including government, diagnostic and therapeutic trends.

One of the trends that the Boston-based Scientia noted was that health IT expenditures in the U.S. will be heavily weighted toward inpatient and outpatient EHRs and meaningful use requirements at the expense of specialty/departmental information systems and other capital investments.

Scientia’s report indicated that, by 2013, health IT sales will grow from 4 percent of the worldwide healthcare products market to 5 percent--representing a 25 percent increase in health IT’s market share. Though this creates the opportunity for companies to expand internationally, Scientia concluded that a threat will be posed by new entrants to the field.

Although the study found that most incremental health IT-related revenues will be captured in North America within the next few years, faster growth in China and India will present substantial long term opportunities, according to the firm.

The report also predicted other industry trends and drivers:

  • Leading players with large installed bases, proven products and streamlined routes to meaningful use of EHRs are likely to gain share.
  • Lower risk and lower cost approaches, such as remote hosting, may become popular for certain small hospitals. In the current economic climate, health IT companies will lend hospitals the capital required to finance IT investments.
  • Over the long term, disruptive innovations such as open-source software and software as a service (SaaS) could lead to dramatically lower pricing.

The review was conducted by Scientia and was based on primary and secondary research and proprietary analytic methods, the firm said.