Healthcare IT Spending on Cloud to Surpass $1 Billion

The healthcare and social services vertical marketplace is extensive. It includes companies that provide medical care and social assistance for individuals -- which includes ambulatory healthcare services, hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, and social assistance services.

Healthcare has been a growth vertical in U.S. business markets.

According to the latest market study by In-Stat, research supports a forecast of continued growth, with healthcare spending $518 million on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in 2015.

Overall telecom spending by the healthcare and social services vertical was just under $16 billion in 2010.

Wireless communications is the largest of the product categories, comprising about 40 percent of telecom spending in the healthcare and social services vertical. Cloud computing and managed services is the fasting growing component.

Wireline data and wireline voice comprise the remainder of the telecom spend.

Increased Demand for Managed Cloud Offerings

"The healthcare vertical segment, across all sizes of business, and across nearly all product groups, is fast becoming the most robust business vertical segment in U.S. business markets," says Greg Potter, Analyst at In-Stat.

Demand for cloud computing services in particular has exploded and In-Stat believes there's nothing that would indicate the trend won’t continue -- at least through 2015.

Additional insights from the In-Stat study include:
  • Small businesses with 20 to 99 employees will be the fastest growing size segment in healthcare, growing over 35 percent from 2010 to 2015.
  • Enterprise wireless spending in healthcare will increase roughly 12 percent from 2010 to 2011.
  • Healthcare public cloud computing spending will surpass $1 billion in 2013.

How TelePresence Improves Public Health Care in Chile

The hospitals in Talcahuano (Las Higueras), San Carlos and Linares have inaugurated Cisco TelePresence units -- the high-definition video technology that allows them to interact with their patients via tele-consultations, examinations and interviews. The TelePresence technology also helps them find solutions for cardiovascular pathologies, the main public health problem facing Chilean society that has resulted in great human and economic impact.

This HD video communication solution enables the hospitals in Linares and San Carlos to connect with specialists in Las Higueras Hospital in Talcahuano and carry out remote specialized consultations -- as a result accelerating the process of attending to patients.

As an example, now the time taken for a specialist's first response has been significantly reduced (from 12 months to 54 hours), as well as the time taken to resolve the problem that gave rise to the initial consultation (from as long as two years down to one month).

Enabling Just-in-Time Healthcare to Citizens

The Cisco TelePresence solution is a pilot project that forms part of and complements the Galileo Telemedical Program, developed in the Hemodynamic and Electrophysiology Unit of Las Higueras Hospital in Talcahuano as a solution for pathologies in the cardiovascular area, illnesses that produce long waiting lists and high mortality rates in Chile.

This managed solution is a contribution made by Telef√≥nica Empresas -- based on Cisco´s technology -- in collaboration with the Talcahuano Health Services and Las Higueras Hospital, showing the positive impact of public-private partnerships in the implementation of technologies that can transform peoples' lives.This solution works through the Chilean Ministry of Health's communication network (administered by Movistar), and it includes three Cisco TelePresence System 1300 Series units.

This new system deployment facilitates effective and timely access to specialized health care for all citizens -- no matter where they live. It improves the quality of patient care and the efficiency of medical attention, helping to reduce or eliminate waiting lists for health care services.

Pilot Project Delivers Cost-Effective Treatment Options

It makes prioritization of referrals easier, improving the access of the most seriously ill patients to critical operations. It reduces the number of referrals to the specialty center, which saves money for the health care system overall, as well as for patients and their families. There are also benefits for the individual such as in terms of reduction in the number of trips needed to be made, hours or days missed from work or school, and avoiding disruption in family life.

It provides a solution within the system, optimizing current resources in an efficient way by empowering initiatives that are already present within the existing health care system.

Movistar is providing this Cisco technology as a pilot project at no cost to local health services in order to evaluate its impact and effectiveness. They do this as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives in an effort to provide innovative solutions to the health care system's most critical needs and to alleviate the extra difficulties these hospitals have had to face after the 2010 earthquake due to the reduction of their operative capacity.

The Galileo Project is an initiative of Las Higueras Hospital's Hemodynamic and Electrophysiology Unit, unique in the country's health care services. It was promoted by Dr. Francisco Albornoz, and it defines a new modality of services to improve the quality of cardiovascular treatments by means of teleprocesses in medical administration.The project consists of Web-based solutions and integrates electronic joint consultations, electrocardiography in its different modes, and echocardiography, connecting remote sites of referrals to one specialty center, maintaining the concept of efficiency in clinical decision making and therapeutic resolution.

"The telemedicine project in Talcahuano is in line with the corporate e-health program whose objective is to make high-end technologies available for the benefit of every Chilean. Health is one of the great concerns, and this service will shorten waiting times, facilitate opportune diagnosis, and keep illnesses from getting worse. At Movistar we are very happy since, as strategic partners with the country and the government, we believe we are fulfilling the promise we made to our clients, that of making high-end technologies available wherever they are needed," said Pedro Pablo Laso, general manager of Telefónica Empresas.

Increased Spending on Public Cloud Computing Services

This week, the world's financial markets have been negatively impacted by continued concerns about the global economic outlook. There has been little good news about the economy lately, particularly regarding the U.S. jobs forecast.

That said, enterprise related IT spending has apparently been one positive forward-looking market indicator -- particularly the current and planned use of managed cloud services.

According to the latest market study by In-Stat, enterprise business spending on IT and telecom services -- which include cloud computing, wireless, wireline voice, wireline data, and business IP/VoIP -- will move in a positive direction in 2011, increasing by healthy 6 percent.

"There will be positive growth across all 20 verticals with education and healthcare & social services leading the surge with growth of 10 percent and 9 percent respectively,” says Greg Potter, analyst at in-Stat.

These forecast increases in spending are across all product groups except wireline voice, which will decline by about half a percent.

In-Stat's latest market study findings include:
  • Enterprise spending on public cloud computing services is set to expand 139% from 2010 to 2011.
  • Enterprise spending on wireless data is set to approach $17 billion in 2015.
  • Enterprise spending in the healthcare sector on wireline data will approach 2 billion in 2014.
  • Enterprise spending on wireline voice will remain flat, with traditional TDM services continuing their decline, only reaching $3.4 billion in 2011.