Australia leads region in eHealth

THE healthcare IT market in Australia is the fastest growing in the Asia Pacific region according to research by market analysts, Frost & Sullivan.

Our health IT market, currently worth an estimated $783 million, is expected to grow 10.3 percent a year over the next five years.

Technology uptake is among governments, the non-government sector and private organisations. The region faces common challenges with increasing costs associated with healthcare from ageing populations, the burden of chronic disease and a transformation in patient profiles and needs.

Australia’s eHealth strategy was cited as a key driver in this growth according to the report. E-Health is the combined use of electronic communication and information technology in the health sector.

The National eHealth Strategy was released in 2008 to drive an incremental and staged approach to developing the nation’s eHealth capabilities. It identifies key priority areas where the national eHealth System can be extended to support health reform in Australia. Government standards and regulation in electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) is driving technology.

There are other growth areas in health technology. These include cloud computing and services, advanced visualisation and simulation tools and machine to communication devices for patient monitoring. Nearly one-third of healthcare providers across the Asia Pacific are using some form of cloud based technology.

Improvements in health technology are a necessary component of developing essential infrastructure for information exchange and a key enabler and driver of improved health outcomes for all Australians.

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