Annual growth in applications spending is expected to reach a trough in 2006, with growth expected to increase at an escalating rate in 2007. However, growth is expected to remain strong over the next five years. By 2008 growth in spending on this category is expected to reach roughly 9%. Applications are expected to remain the second largest category of IT spending in the healthcare industry through 2008. In-Stat/MDR estimates that healthcare businesses will spend approximately $13.6 bln on applications by 2008. Over the next five years, small businesses in the healthcare industry are expected to display the highest growth in application spending.