Despite slower-than-expected growth, the global market for electronic health records (EHR) is estimated to reach $22.3 billion by the end of 2015, with the North American market projected to account for $10.1 billion or 47 percent, according to research released by Accenture (NYSE:ACN) at the annual HIMSS Conference in Orlando. Although the worldwide EHR market is projected to grow at 5.5 percent annually through 2015, Accenture’s previous research shows that would represent a slowdown from roughly 9 percent growth during 2010. Despite the slower pace of growth globally, the combined EHR market in North and South America (The Americas) is expected to reach $11.1 billion by the end of 2015, compared to an estimated $4 billion in the Asia Pacific region and $7.1 billion in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “Although the market is growing, the ability of healthcare leaders to achieve sustained outcomes and proven returns on their investments poses a significant challenge to the adoption of electronic health records,” said Kaveh Safavi, global managing director of Accenture Health. “However, as market needs continue to change, we’re beginning to see innovative solutions emerge that can better adapt and scale electronic health records to meet the needs of specific patient populations as well as the business needs of health systems.” Driven by consolidation and the federal Meaningful Use guidelines, the United States is expected to remain the largest EHR market in the Americas and globally, with a projected annual growth rate of 7.1 percent and will total $9.3 billion by the end of 2015. Along with increasing U.S. market demand, Brazil, projected at $0.4 billion, may represent the greatest relative growth opportunity as a country-wide federal initiative, the Unified Health System, is expected to drive 9.7 percent annual growth over the next several years. In EMEA, where a slow economic recovery has inhibited EHR growth in recent years, the market is expected to grow from $6.5 billion in 2014 to $7.1 billion by the end of 2015. Government-funded initiatives are expected to generate the region’s most significant EHR growth in the Nordic countries (5.1 percent), United Kingdom (4.1 percent) and Germany (3.6 percent). Within EMEA, the United Kingdom is expected to remain the largest EHR market, growing to $2.1 billion by the end of 2015.