IT Advances are Enabling Federal Agencies Promoting U.S. Health

Published: September 03, 2014

Health CareHealth IT

Federal Health IT spending is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.2% over the next five years to $4.8 billion in 2019 as shown in Deltek’s newly released Federal Health IT 2014-2019 report.

Federal investments in health information technology are expected to be fueled by spending on EHRs, analytics, decision support systems, telehealth, storage, and cloud computing.  The Provider market segment, IT used to provide health care services and access to care, is expected to show the most year-over-year growth due to VA and DoD EHR and interoperability initiatives.  However, one of the more innovative and interesting market segments is that of Promoter.   Several federal agencies act as promoters of public health as part of their missions.   The promoter market segment is dominated by CMS, CDC, FDA, NCI, and NIH where spending will remain steady throughout the forecast period.

As promoters of public health, these government health departments and agencies are charged with protecting citizens from a variety of health risks, such as communicable diseases and bio-terrorism.  They also promote public wellness through campaigns targeted toward reducing smoking, diabetes, and obesity, as well as increasing population insurance coverage and improving prenatal care.    

Advances in technology that now allow agencies to collect, store, and compare data; conduct research; and analyze massive amounts of data, make this market segment fascinating.   For example, biomedical research data is amassing at a rate that can’t be handled by traditional IT tools.  Agencies are trying innovative methods to store, retrieve and analyze such large data sets. 

For instance, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is testing a cloud-based infrastructure to process, store and analyze its massive genomic data sets.  NCI plans to award three contracts for pilot projects to create cloud computing environments that will house a Cancer Genome Atlas totaling 2.5 petabytes in size.   

IT advances will continue to enable progress in medical research. Agencies in this segment of the Health IT market will have an increasing need for big data products and services, such as analytics, storage, retrieval and connectivity.  Contractors will be needed to integrate new IT tools and cloud infrastructures and to pose innovative solutions for making large data sets available to researchers across the country.