Australian e-health spending to top $2 billion in 2010

Technology in healthcare is big business, despite persisent underfunding

E-health is a major opportunity for the ICT sector despite persistent underfunding, according to analyst, IDC.

The firm says that the healthcare industry will spend $2.26 billion on ICT in 2010, with $721 million of that going on telecommunications, $509 million on services, and a further $102 million spent on software.

Top investment priorities during the year will include Electronic Health Records with appropriate standards and privacy, and interoperability and security around integration and compliance with standards.

Business intelligence for next-generation hospital operations and collaboration tools for improved communications across service providers will also be key areas.

Senior market analyst for verticals at IDC Australia, Melissa Martin, said that the national push by the Rudd government for a comprehensive health reform over the next five years will significantly increase investment in the industry.

"The next-generation broadband simultaneously will play a key role in delivering e-health services right to the doorstep of patients' homes, and increasing the capacity of service providers to digitise their clinical operations and workflow, transfer and share patient information and high-resolution medical images,” she said.

“Reaching out to people in the rural area through telemedicine, improving communications amongst hospitals, GPs and community, service providers will drive the adoption of health technologies."

The Royal Children’s Hospital has flagged that it will make a significant investment in e-health, with the move to an Electronic Health Record. South Eastern Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service (SESIAHS) has also forged ahead with a major eHelath investment.

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