Australia is the second largest market for health technology adoption within the Asia Pacific despite fragmentation preventing robust development of Health IT across the country.
That's according to Frost and Sullivan analyst, Natasha Gulati, who said that large, public hospitals were the highest and most frequent spenders on healthcare HIT solutions.
"But Australia’s many smaller hospitals in rural and remote areas hardly spend anything in health IT," she said.
"Fragmentation in the healthcare system does not allow the information that has been collected to be managed, shared and used effectively."
According to Frost and Sullivan, Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing healthcare information technology (healthcare IT) market across the world.
Gulati said fragmentation in the hospital infrastructure prevented a really robust development of health IT across the country.
"Australia is a growing market for cloud solutions and services, and digital hospitals will be the mainstay of Australia’s future hospitals," she said.
"Pharma and medical device companies are also moving toward data driven models and leveraging IT for business model transformation.
"Together, all this will create the marketplace for health data, although within the constraints of current data security regulations.
Based on these trends, Frost and Sullivan predicts that the key technology trends for healthcare in Australia in 2015 would be the digitalisation, decentralisation and democratisation of healthcare.
This will take place through the creation of a marketplace for data, leveraging of Big Data analytics for clinical decision making, a growing awareness of population health management, premium telehealth solutions for urban areas and tracing the ‘patient journey’.
Gulati said health system fragmentation, resulting in continued episodic care, could be reduced through integrated information systems.
"Health IT penetration in the country is expected to continue to rise, but mainly in the form of facility upgrades and hi-tech adoption across existing hospitals," she said.
"Dependable and reliable health data sharing is still a distant dream for Australia, although concerted efforts in this direction have begun."