The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act should spur higher sales of hardware as well as software applications, according to a new report from Kalorama Information, a New York-based life sciences research firm.
Hardware sales represent about 23 percent of annual health care computer sales, report authors estimate. They expect hardware sales will grow at a faster pace than IT spending as a whole in the near term--about 10.7 percent annually through 2013.
Health IT vendors generally make the hardware sales, buying hardware from manufacturers and packaging it with their applications. The IT incentives in ARRA are aimed at software, "but they will open up conversations between customers and vendors for new IT spending, and hardware will be part of that," says Melissa Elder, a Kalorama analyst and report author. "The top IT-related technologies and applications that physicians and facilities are focusing on include identity management, bar coding technology, speech recognition and handheld personal digital assistants. All of these will require investment in new hardware."
The 125-page report, "Healthcare Computer System Markets and Trends in HIT Buying," is available for $3,500 at

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