Thursday, July 28, 2011

Australian investment in healthcare IT to top $2.4 billion by 2016

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Spending on healthcare IT in Australia will hit $2.4 billion in 2016, a CAGR of almost 10 per cent from 2010, predicts Ovum in its latest healthcare IT market forecast.

The independent technology analyst finds that Australia’s investment in healthcare IT is driven by the need to cut costs in the sector as well as to improve patient outcome. The Australian government is trying to remedy the enormous cost pressures by launching initiatives to adopt the deployment of IT.

Cornelia Wels-Maug, Ovum’s healthcare technology analyst, commented: “Investment in IT healthcare is increasing in Australia, mainly driven by the public health reforms and state-funded development of technology infrastructure.

According to Ovum’s figures, investment in Australia’s healthcare IT market will reach only $1.5 billion in 2011, far less than that in North American and European markets.

Digital imaging solutions, especially picture archiving system (PACS), will continue to be the key investment area for Australia, closely followed by expenditure on electronic health records (EHRs). However, telehealth, where services such as the monitoring of conditions are delivered via telecommunications technology and EHRs, are expected to have the strongest growth, with CAGRs of 14.1 per cent and 12.1 per cent, respectively.

Ms Wels-Maug commented: “Increasing access, accuracy, and availability of healthcare data are absolutely fundamental to cutting costs. It reduces double testing of patients for various diseases and improves the overall efficiency of hospitals and surgeries.”

Software for health information exchanges (HIE) that allow the exchange of health information stored in disparate IT systems both within healthcare organizations as well as among them, will also see growth in investment.

Ms Wels-Maug added: “This is an area where we will see more and more investment. Indeed, sharing health information electronically helps providers gain a more complete picture, giving them a holistic view of patients and their history.

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