The global market for Wi-Fi-enabled healthcare products will grow by 70 percent over the next five years, to an estimated $4.9 billion in 2014, a new report says. "The strong uptake of Wi-Fi in the health industry is underpinned by its need for improved asset management, staff mobility, transfer of digitized records, and standardized administration of medications," says Stan Schatt, an analyst with ABI Research. "In addition, government security requirements including HIPAA often mean replacing older wireless equipment with modern versions."
The forecast does not include medical equipment with Wi-Fi capabilities.
Although ABI believes that Wi-Fi can help healthcare organizations reduce costs through greater efficiencies and easier installations than for wired networks, Schatt still sees a "Tower of Babel" until IT vendors either offer complete, end-to-end systems for major institutions or find better ways to share data.