An increase in healthcare provider use of cloud technology combined with a decrease in the cost of IT implementation could propel big changes for the U.S. healthcare IT market in the next few years, according to a new report.
The analysis, by market research consulting firm RNCOS, predicts that between now and 2018, the health IT market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of close to 10 percent. Continued innovation and government suppport for such tools will factor into the market's success, according to the report's authors.
The report examines five trends, including an increase in:
- Wireless and cloud technology
- Government initiatives
- Strategic consolidations
- Reduced operating expenses
- "Technological upgradation"
Technologies examined include, but are not limited to, electronic medical records, clinical decision support systems, medical imaging information systems, picture archiving, communication systems and laboratory information systems. Potential growth areas identified by the report's authors include personal health records, ICD-10 systems and telemedicine technology.
In a recent post to her Health Populi blog, health economist and management consultant Jane Sarasohn-Kahn wrote about specific drivers of value in health IT, concluding that it will take a village comprised of providers, payers, plan sponsors, the pharmaceutical industry, device companies, pharmacy and people to drive return-on-investment.
"The full value of health IT is realized when all parties come to the table to ensure data liquidity and ultimately, information and support flowing to people and patients," Sarasohn-Kahn writes. "More value can be derived when technologies don't add costs, but conserve costs and resources."
However, investor and entrepreneur Anne DeGheest, in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, compared the current state of health IT to the state of technology in the 1990s, saying that with "feverish activity and high valuations comes the danger of a bubble."