Health IT market in growth mode

Biggest growth poised for Asia-Pacific
By Erin McCann
10:52 AM

The healthcare IT applications market continues to grow, according to a new Research and Markets report, which projects that by 2017 the global market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 7.0 percent .

Analysts say the market, valued at $40.4 billion in 2012, will swell to $56.7 billion by 2017 due primarily to the rising demand for clinical data technology and administrative solutions. 
Drivers of growth include: a growing demand for interoperable systems; financial incentives from the U.S. government; rise in aging population; burgeoning medical tourism in Asia; and the high rate of return on investment using these systems. 
"North America (U.S. and Canada) commanded the highest share of the healthcare information technology market due to firm government support in terms of investment and incentives, growing demand of integrated healthcare IT systems to achieve high return on investment, enhanced patient consumerism for quality care and safety, and rise in aging population," the report reads. 
Despite the U.S. garnering the lion's share of the healthcare IT applications market, the Asia-Pacific region is poised for the greatest growth, with lower cost medical treatments attracting patients who would normally pay higher prices in North America. 
Researchers also say high initial costs to implement these healthcare IT applications systems in addition to the maintenance expenses ultimately may restrict further growth. 
For the U.S., the biggest market players include McKesson, Epic, Cerner, Carestream Health and athenahealth.