Updated on 13 February 2013
Australia is currently focusing on providing its people with the tools to support independent aging care and improve healthcare services in remote regions
Singapore: Australia boasts an advanced healthcare system supported by both the public and private sector involvement. The country spent 9.3 percent of its GDP on healthcare in 2011 and is currently focusing on providing people with the tools to support independent aging care and improve healthcare services in remote regions.
While modernisation of healthcare facilities and investment in IT has been rapid over the past 10 years, adoption still lags amongst physicians and consumers due to lack of trust in information systems. This lack of trust stems from the failure of several regional health IT projects in recent years.
The Australian healthcare IT market was estimated at $811.03 million (A$ 783 million) in 2012, which includes software tools and applications leveraged by healthcare providers as well as the professional services needed for implementation and support. Government incentives towards adoption of Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) and other healthcare delivery programs such as the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) will be the key driver for market growth. Private players on the other hand are focusing on enhancing customer awareness and engagement in their products.
According to Mr Rhenu Bhuller, vice president of Healthcare, Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific, the healthcare IT market in Australia is driven by the shift in emphasis from acute care to prevention. This is apparent from the numerous incentive schemes listed in the PIP, which focus on long-term care including incentives for diabetes detection, cervical screening and asthma. In addition to these, the PIP also encourages digitisation of healthcare providers by incentivising adoption of healthcare IT at the GP level across healthcare organisations.
Australia's Personal Health Record (PHR) program opens doors for private investment in eHealth across the country. The Australian market for Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.1 percent between 2013-18. On average, healthcare providers spend a little less than two percent of their operating expenditure on IT which is less than the global average spend of 3.6 percent as quoted by CeBIT, Australia.