Canada, a global leader in Healthcare IT(*1), is home to one of the most internet-savvy
and technologically sophisticated populations in the world. Canada is highly competitive
globally and is also an ideal location in which to establish a Health IT business.
The Health IT space is an important and rapidly growing field within the Information Technology and Healthcare sectors in general and remains a priority for Canada as demonstrated by a strong commitment from public and private sectors.
Canada’s healthcare sector is one of the country’s most information-intensive industries.
With nearly 400,000 general practitioners, along with specialists, nurses, pharmacists, healthcare professionals, more than 700 hospitals and 1,600 long-term care facilities.
Managing health information across these areas has created a wealth of expertise in how Health IT can be leveraged to reduce inefficiencies in the healthcare system. The healthcare industry is the largest vertically-integrated industry in Canada. Canada spends about 11.2% of GDP on healthcare, and is growing at an annual compound rate of 7%.
Healthcare spending in Canada reached $211 billion in 2013, an increase of $35 billion or 19% since 2008. (Canada Health Infoway).
Canada is also ideally positioned for selling into the largest Health IT market in the world – the United States. Canada has adopted several international standards, such as the Classification of Health Interventions (CCI), Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM), Health Level 7 (HL7), and others which makes it easy for Canadian Health IT companies to develop products equally marketable in domestic as well as international markets.
Some examples of multinationals making successful and profitable investments in the Canadian Health IT market include Microsoft; Agfa; General Electric (GE); Philips Healthcare; IBM Canada Healthcare; Siemens Canada; and McKesson Canada.
National and Provincial Commitment The Health IT sector in Canada enjoys broad public and private support. Health IT accounts for about 2% ($4.2 billion) of all healthcare ($211 billion) spending per year (*2).
Canada’s Federal and Provincial governments remain committed to leveraging information and communications technologies (ICT) to move Canada’s healthcare system to a high quality and affordable model of healthcare delivery. The National and Provincial focus on improving healthcare delivery has created a favourable environment for businesses involved in the development and/or delivery of Health IT products and services.
Health IT is a good investment opportunity for foreign companies due to long term growth prospects and strong government backing for the sector.
Several Canadian Health IT companies, such as Telus Health, Logibec, QHR Technologies, PointClickCare, and CGI Group have also successfully sold solutions into the US, as have the Canadian operations (and subsidiaries) of multinational companies like IBM-Canada and GE Healthcare Canada
As of December 31, 2013 the Federal government had provided over CAD $2 billion to Canada Health Infoway for funding 294 projects. (Canada Health Infoway)
To learn more about Canada’s Infoway please click here.
(*1)DISCLAIMER: In 2013, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) contracted Branham Group Inc. to prepare a report and this companion brochure on the Canadian Health IT sector, based on primary and secondary sources of information. Readers should note DFATD cannot guarantee the full accuracy of any information in this document, nor does it endorse organizations listed herein. Before using it, readers should independently verify the accuracy and reliability of any information, as required. (*2) Branham Group, 2013.