Healthcare Dips Toe in Digital Age

The Healthcare sector has announced plans to increase levels of IT investment and begin to utilise IT technologies as a strategic tool.

Governments globally are beginning to look to IT solutions as a way of reigning in soaring healthcare costs as well as improving the levels of patient care.

Although traditionally any money invested into healthcare has been predominantly spent on up to date equipment such as CAT scanners, opinion is starting to shift on this matter and an IT infrastructure is being recognised as a key tool for cutting costs and raising standards.

Andy Mullins, head of PA consulting has today stated, "Across the OECD, there is a universal acceptance that we should be investing more to digitalise healthcare."

President Barrack Obama recently announced his plans to invest in healthcare with a specific focus on using IT technologies to cut costs. He believes that nationwide electronic healthcare records could save a staggering $77 billion per year.

In the UK, the national plans for IT have come under a great deal of criticism for the huge cost and long delays which have been involved.

Neil Jordan, managing director of Microsoft's worldwide health group commented, "We often joke that healthcare IT suffers from 'pilotitis'." "Historically," he said " there has been very little industrialisation and a lack of long-termism so it has been very hard to get technology to work at scale."

However the key ideas behind the installation of a key and comprehensive IT infrastructure across the UK are still widely supported.

The HealthPresence system which allows for remote consultation using internet technology, is currently being piloted in Scotland.

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