Health Information Technology as Key Export Sector

June 24, 2011

Fred W. Aziz is Associate Director of Technology and E-Commerce at International Trade Administration, where he covers innovation sectors such as cloud computing, health IT, and software.   

Matthew Hein has been with the International Trade Administration for the past six years.  He currently serves as an International Trade Specialist on the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Team in the Office of Health and Consumer Goods.

Steve Miller is an International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s  Office of Service Industries where he is responsible for knowledge economy issues including health services, research and development services, and university commercialization.

Technology has evolved to become an integral part of each of our lives, whether for work, play or simply staying connected to a loved one.  This technology adoption, however, has yet to be fully integrated into one key aspect of our lives:  healthcare.  Practitioners of applying technology to the digitization, storage, delivery and analysis of healthcare information refer to this evolving sector as “Health IT,” short for Health Information Technology.

Health IT’s internationalization and its export potential for U.S. industry and the role of policymakers were the topics of a June 17, 2011, roundtable at the White House Conference Center entitled ‘Health IT: Beyond Our Borders.’   This event brought together leading voices in U.S. Health IT innovation from both industry and government to discuss ways to increase Health IT exports, pursuant to President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which aims to double American exports by the end of 2014, in support of several millions jobs.  Representatives of major healthcare providers, technology and software firms, and trade associations shared their views on the opportunities and challenges for Health IT firms in the global marketplace as key government officials listened and engaged the attendees.

The opening welcome and introductory remarks were delivered by Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing and Services (MAS), Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale.  U.S. Government officials guiding the roundtable discussion included White House CTO Aneesh Chopra and National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari.  Newly named Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Maureen Smith acted as moderator and provided closing remarks.

However, the event was focused firmly on the perspectives and views of industry representatives, who openly discussed possible approaches for increasing Health IT exports.   Government officials, in turn, provided a rundown of available resources within the government and asked what more could be done to assist and enable Health IT exports

This roundtable discussion was developed and organized by the Health IT Team within Manufacturing and Services, a division of the International Trade Administration, in cooperation with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT at Health and Human Services and the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House.  Following on this successful session, MAS will continue to work with industry to deliver targeted outcomes that enhance both the competitiveness of the sector and export opportunities for U.S. firms.

The roundtable identified a number of follow-up action items such as further discussions on standards, improving the collection and dissemination of international commercial opportunities in the Health IT space,  research and reporting on top markets for Health IT, and facilitating an intake form relating to international tenders.

Please see the blog posts from The White House  and follow this space for information on future developments in the sector.


  1. Yes! Health information technology (HIT) provides the umbrella framework to describe the comprehensive management of health information across computerized systems and its secure exchange between consumers, providers, government and quality entities, and insurers. Health information technology (HIT) is in general increasingly viewed as the most promising tool for improving the overall quality, safety and efficiency of the health delivery system (Chaudhry et al., 2006).
    Over all very informative post thanks for sharing it

  2. The export of advanced technology like this is one way to replace some of the shrinking US manufacturing base, to everyones advantage.

  3. Health IT is very useful to medical professionals like me (physical therapist and physical therapy marketing professional).

    Health IT is a great tool that can improve the quality of health services that we offer.

  4. Well, technology is the best way to improve its health services and that’s the goodness of technology to bring what’s best to all the people.
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  5. Not only health but you can export auditing, regulation related software and technology to other countries as well. Many countries lack the knowledge to or are far behind in quality processes as well as audits that meet international standards.

  6. Health IT: Beyond Our Borders – Technology has been a part of our daily living. Different sectors of society use it. However, in terms of Health IT, there should be a standards and policies because it is the most sensitive part of our society.


  7. Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog post. The use of HIT is becoming important to help decision-making and promote quality health care. Indeed technology is the great way to have good health services.

  8. That’s a very good news post. Let’s hope that the aim to double American Health IT exports by the end of 2014 will become a reality, for the best benefit of all people.
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  9. Technology plays a vital role in our lives, it help us to make our work easier and faster.

  10. If the national office has truly world class health sector technology, then it is a sensible choice to get a better return on investment on the technology.

  11. Many fields improve their working way with the help of technologies. These technologies are affecting many fields like health services. People are getting good treatment and services. Major diseases can be treated easily using technologies.

  12. Health IT….information that can help people to have better health is good information.

  13. Technologies can really bring a huge advantages when in comes to different trades. Most especially in the field of health. Technologies can positively and effectively treat diseases.

  14. Although I agree that advancing technologies and ubiquitous data transmission in the healthcare field will advance efficiency, quality of care and be more cost effective, I think it presents risks as well. Any industry that is dependent on its information system can also be crippled if/when they fail. I fear that in the healthcare industry, even minor disruptions to systems or data could manifest in major disruptions to health of patients.

  15. The digital automation of health information has traditionally focused on the formal implementation of electronic health records. Most of these EHR systems are relational databases that focus on intra-enterprise applications.

  16. HIT development will have extremely far reaching benefits across a whole host of sectors as time and money will be saved and gained at lots of different levels which in turn will allow greater development and efficiency of those areas that benefit and so on and so forth.

  17. As certain job markets and sectors shrink and/or disappear altogether, I think the development of the Health IT sector will be an integral part of our economic recovery and job creation efforts.

  18. Thank you for the great information online.. got it.

  19. IT in Healthcare is a booming business! I see this constantly evolving through the coming years!

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