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Report: Health IT Spending to Exceed $69 Billion over Six-Year Period

June 22, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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Providers, payers, and physician groups will be spending over $69 billion on healthcare related IT and telecommunications services over the next six years, according to a market research study released by the Mountain Lakes, N.J.-based Insight Research Corporation. The report says that spending by the US healthcare industry on telecommunications services will grow at a compounded rate of 9.7 percent over the forecast period, increasing from $9.1 billion in 2012 to $14.4 billion in 2017. as the number of healthcare locations expands by 16 percent and the healthcare employment rate increases 2.5 times faster than the total national employment rate.

The authors of the report, named"Telecommunications, IT, and Healthcare: Wireless Networks, Digital Healthcare and the Transformation of US Healthcare, 2012-2017," says that things such as Federal Government policies, an aging population, and healthcare worker shortages are encouraging the industry to find alternative approaches to current treatment practices, and lead to an increase in IT and telecom investments. The authors say much of the high costs inherent in the current system are related to the proximity of patient and provider, as well as to the archaic administrative systems used to manage records and exchange information. Telecommunications can bridge these proximity and system gaps.

"Healthcare providers are avid consumers of telecommunications services and new technology. The combination of increased demand for wireless and broadband access, massive data storage demands, and the conversion to electronic health records (EHRs) and procedures is straining existing healthcare networks," Fran Caulfield, Insight Research director, said in a statement.

"Our research measures key operational factors, such as population trends, patient monitoring, and cloud-based storage requirements, and then we quantify the demands for telecommunications services and equipment that will be needed to satisfy these demands No surprises; the research points to strong demand," concluded Caulfield.

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