US FY2011 Federal budget–healthcare tech spending

One of ZDNet’s bloggers, Larry Dignan, digs into the Federal FY2011 $3.8 trillion budget. His focus is tech overall but here are what seem to be the healthcare related nuggets (largest first):

  • Health and Human Services (HHS):  The proposed $81.3 billion HHS budget includes $110 million for health IT coordination and research. The funding is designed to “to assist providers with adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records.”
  • Department of Defense (DOD):  as a result of two wars and growing veterans’ needs, their healthcare budget is now $30.9 billion (up 5.8%).  DOD has been pioneering in mobile health and portable scanners (our recent WOW of the day).  Health IT is a major feature of spending, along with building ‘virtual lifetime electronic records’ for servicemembers and veterans.  Veterans Affairs (VA) spending is separate and can add to these initiatives.
  • Department of Commerce:  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is where there is more tech money with a budget of $712 million.  Not directly identified with healthcare, but nanotechnology is mentioned as well as $80 million allocated for something called the Technology Innovation Program ‘invest(ing) in high-impact research’.
  • National Science Foundation (NSF):  in their $7.4 billion, the emphasis is on ‘green tech’, renewable energy and education. Same with the Department of Energy.

All of this is up to Congress, of course, and what will be funded–and who will be the players–and how much of this will be allocated to smaller and early-stage companies–is anyone’s guess.  Article.