Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Broadband Silo Breakers: Telemedicine Annual Spending to Reach $3.6 Billion by 2014

Pike & Fisher Report Credits ARRA Stimulus Package as Telemedicine Spend Driver 10/06/09 San Francisco - Market analyst shop Pike & Fischer (P&F) today issued an estimate predicting the market for telemedicine devices and services will generate nearly $3.6 billion in annual revenue within the next five years, with mobile-services companies taking the greatest single share of that market.

The firm's announcement is based on its research report, released today, entitled Telemedicine and the Economic Stimulus: Broadband Opportunities in a Swelling Market, which estimates "...wireless applications, devices, and services solutions will account for more than 70 percent of the total market spend" in the five year period to 2014.

The report points to the needs of healthcare providers to control costs, the development and expansion of faster wireless broadband networks, smartphones, and data compression solutions, as the key drivers of market growth.

ARRA Stimulus Package as Driver
The firm, based in Silver Spring, MD, points to the health information technology appropriations within the American Recovery and reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed on February 17 by President Obama, as driving the lift in telemedicine spending.

The ARRA includes $20 billion in funds for telehealth information technology. P&F forecasts that at least 25 percent of the $20 billion in stimulus funds earmarked for health information technology will be applied toward broadband-enabled telemedicine services such as remote patient monitoring and mobile access to medical records, and consumer applications such as interactive fitness guides and mobile health-related videos.

Healthcare Reform to Give Further Boost
"These estimates will climb if the Obama administration's proposed health-care reform plan passes," says Tim Deal, Senior Analyst in P&F's Broadband Advisory Services group. "The proposed health-care reform includes an investment of $50 billion over five years to promote health information technology."

AT&T (NYSE: T) will have the largest presence in this market, followed closely by Verizon (VZ) and Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S), Deal predicts. Smaller software and device manufacturers will quickly find themselves targeted for acquisition, concluded Mr. Deal.
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