EHR Funds Could Boost Handheld Device Use

July 2, 2010

It looks like federal stimulus dollars will do more than encourage EHR use. The incentives could also drive the growth of handheld devices in healthcare, according to a new report.

It looks like federal stimulus dollars will do more than encourage EHR use. The incentives could also drive the growth of handheld devices in healthcare, according to a new report.

Handheld device sales for healthcare are expected to increase by 7 percent for the next five years as docs and hospitals buy new IT systems, according to “Handhelds in Healthcare: The World Market for PDAs, Tablet PCs, Handheld Monitors & Scanners,” the report from market researcher Kalorama Information. Sales reached $8.2 billion globally in 2009.

"The ARRA incentives for electronic medical records do not specifically reimburse doctors for devices," said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. "But they are getting healthcare organizations to think about IT purchases, and they are helping to make the argument for better electronic data entry, something that we think will lead to increased sales for devices used to enter data."

Other factors that will boost handheld sales are a growing an aging population, a shortage of qualified medical professionals, cost restraints, and efforts to reduce medical errors, the report finds. Plus, the willingness of physicians and nurses to use handheld devices is growing. Patient monitoring devices dominate sales in that market, but administrative devices and tablet PCs are growing.
 

Any plans to invest in handheld devices, or are you already using one/some?