Survey: Trump shakeups won’t derail health IT growth

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Health IT experts aren't worried about regulatory turmoil impacting industry growth.

From proposed budget cuts that target health research to a failed attempt to repeal and replace the ACA, there has been no shortage of healthcare changes in the first three months under President Donald Trump.

Although the new administration has created the highest level of uncertainty for the health insurance industry, even seemingly unrelated policy changes have trickled down throughout all sectors of healthcare. Earlier this year, for example, health IT researchers and hospital CIOs voiced concerns that Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven countries would impact the nation’s ailing IT workforce.

RELATED: Health IT leaders react to Trump immigration travel ban, implications for workforce, innovation

Hospitals worried about similar consequences for foreign-born workers in America’s healthcare system, and physicians have said changes to the country’s visa policy could worsen the physician shortage in rural areas.

But a new survey released by venture capital firm Venrock indicates the health IT community feels it is largely immune to any regulatory or economic upheavals.

Venrock surveyed “a few hundred of the smartest people we know across healthcare,” who acknowledged that both regulatory and economic uncertainty could create challenges for the health IT industry. But 60% of respondents still believed there will be an increase in health IT companies over the next two years.

That perspective has panned out in the marketplace so far, as investments in the first quarter of 2017 showed digital health remains strong.

RELATED: Despite regulatory uncertainty, digital health investment remains steady

Below are several other notable takeaways from the survey, which was conducted prior to the GOP’s failed attempt to repeal and replace the ACA:

  • Respondents said telemedicine and wearables/consumer sensors would be the least challenged by the new administration.
  • 45% said analytics and big data would see the largest growth over the next year.
  • 87% said there would be more consolidation among health IT startups in the next two years, while 78% believed EHR vendors would increase mergers and acquisitions.
  • Funding was the biggest concern: 85% of respondents said they expect challenges in some, if not all, stages of financing. 
  • Within the health IT industry, respondents said digital preventative care programs will be the most challenged under the new administration.