Australia to set standard for Asia's Health Data Compliance Laws

As Australia's personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) project develops, IDC Health Insights predicts that citizen’s health records will be taken out of the traditional, controlled environments. As such, there will be a need for clearer compliance laws pertaining to healthcare records.

In this area, Austalia is in the best position to lead the Asia-Pacific region in the creating healthcare-specific compliance laws, the research firm said.

"Australia has been leading the region in per capita healthcare IT spending. It has also made attempts to upgrade the compliance laws around health information. But, as the full potential of its nationwide ehealth initiatives unfolds, there will be a greater need to upgrade and fine-tune these laws," explained Sash Mukherjee, Senior Market Analyst, IDC Health Insights Asia-Pacific.

The research firm noted that the region has shown dynamic growth in healthcare IT spending in the last year. However, the laws regarding data security, privacy and access have not been updated. In fact, there are no laws specific to health records in most countries in the region.

More insights will be revealed in a forthcoming IDC Health Insights report, “Asia-Pacific Healthcare 2012 Top 10 Predictions”, which presents the major trends that will impact healthcare IT investments across Asia-Pacific in 2012.

At a glance, the following are its top predictions for the coming year, drawing from the latest research and internal brainstorming sessions amongst IDC's Health Insights regional and country analysts:

1.    The overall market for healthcare IT will remain vibrant even amidst fears of economic downturn
2.    Medical tourism will prompt IT investments in emerging markets
3.    Australia will lead the region into setting clearer healthcare specific compliance laws
4.    Despite hype, most Asia/Pacific countries will not attempt nation-wide healthcare records systems
5.    Best-of-breed Customer Information Systems (CIS) solutions will see increased investments
6.    Concerns of data security breach will drive "hybrid security" investments
7.    National broadband policies will revive telemedicine initiatives
8.    The 2.0 revolution will drive market for healthcare applications
9.    Business and clinical intelligence will become actionable
10.    Data management and storage will be the key impetus for cloud adoption in healthcare 
“Clinicians, as well as IT administrators, are aligned in their demands for EHR/EMR implementations, data management tools, security solutions and integrated analytics," said Mukherjee. “Technology vendors are encouraged to collaborate with the right vendor partners, as well as with the healthcare providers, in order to find creative and innovative solutions to the unique technological and business needs of the industry. Healthcare providers, on the other hand, will need to take into account their size, budget and resources before investing in IT projects."