Document Type



The intent of this research paper is to explore the future role of e-commerce in the health care industry. The impact of e-commerce on the supply chain of the health care industry will be emphasized. The paper will be separated into what role e-commerce plays from the consumers’ point of view and at the various levels within the health care industry. With the aging of the population in the United States and other countries, rising health care costs have been a major issue in the respective economies. Efficiency gains within the industry have been attributed to the application of information technology and, most specifically, the Internet. E-commerce as a relatively new technology, if deployed properly, could have significant impact in the cost of the overall delivery of health care. The deployment/maintenance of patient-centered databases will become more manageable. The sensitive issue of patient information will be escalated with the advancement of e-commerce. These and other issues will also be discussed. Special discussion will be included focusing on the lower end of the supply chain, the private provider (physician office), from B2B and B2C points of view. The overall impact on the supply chain in the health care industry will be more than just improvements in efficiency. It will have a fundamental impact on the quality of health services provided and the quality of life. The authors will present surveys on the abovementioned topics and related issues in this research paper.