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Report: World Bank Spends $1.5 Billion on Health IT

June 6, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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A report on health IT in developing countries, put out by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), revealed the World Bank has invested approximately $1.5 billion across 55 “eHealth” projects. According to the report, Advancing Global Health IT: A Consultation with the World Bank at HIMSS12, the Bank sees this as a growing area and so the creation of appropriate policies is needed.

Along with appropriate policies, the report says, “It is important that the Bank understand the environmental issues that lead to appropriate health IT investment in developing countries, like infrastructure, data protection and governance and other critical issues that can help the areas of focus to develop impactful health IT programs that improve health and healthcare.”

The report is focused on strategic issues related to improving the investment climate and business environment for health IT and management systems in developing countries. Through its HIMSS G7 group, a leadership assembly endorsed by the World Bank, HIMSS’s report offers an overview of the World Bank Group’s involvement in the healthcare sector, identifying business opportunities, and the role health IT can play within emerging global markets.

"The World Bank Group, comprised of five global institutions, is focusing on developing countries and these areas often need health IT to build healthcare capacity,” John Casillas, senior vice president of HIMSS Business-Centered systems, said in a statement. “Our consultation with the World Bank at HIMSS Annual Conference was fascinating because it shed light on activities being advanced by the Bank where HIMSS can offer assistance through projects, tools and educational programs, and the work of our members, to improve global health through optimum use of technology."

HIMSS G7 meets three times per year to realize the healthcare financial network of the future. The most recent gathering was a HIMSS G7 World Bank Consultation held during HIMSS12 in Las Vegas. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 25. The HIMSS G7 is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, LexisNexis, Optum, and Sentry Data Systems.



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