Do countries with higher IT spending have higher life expectancy? Recent policy debate on healthcare in the United States has focused on the role of IT in reducing costs and improving healthcare access and quality. An implicit assumption in this debate has been that greater infusion of IT into healthcare will lead to better health outcomes. We investigate the validity of this assumption by examining the extent to which higher IT expenditures at the country level are associated with higher life expectancy, a key measure of healthcare outcomes. Drawing on the information systems and supply chain management literature, we theorize three mechanisms to explain why IT may be associated with healthcare outcomes at the country level: information integration, workflow coordination, and collaborative planning. We then conduct an empirical analysis relating IT investments with life expectancy and find that higher IT investments at the country level are positively associated with higher life expectancy. We discuss implications of the findings for further research and policy.
Mithas, Sunil; Khuntia, Jiban; and Agarwal, Ritu, "Information Technology and Life Expectancy: A Country-Level Analysis" (2009). ICIS 2009 Proceedings. 146.