October 2008

In sickness and in health!

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The healthcare industry is proving to be a treasure-trove of opportunities for the IT industry in a time of general market sickness. In the face of the recent US credit crisis, which has impacted IT spending in key verticals such as banking, financial services and insurance, retail and  manufacturing, where customers have delayed or postponed their investments on deploying new technology applications, the healthcare industry seems to show strong commitment towards adopting IT.

A recent survey by market analyst Datamonitor revealed that healthcare industry would significantly increase IT spending in 2009 as growing demand for healthcare services from the aging ‘baby boom’ generation in the Western Europe, the US and Japan, leads to rising costs for national and private health systems in these countries.

Similar increase in adoption of technology in hospitals in India is a sure sign of the changing times for the healthcare industry. When a large corporate hospital such as Apollo Hospitals announces that they are quite ready to roll out their Universal Hospital Identification Number (UHIN) project, this is ample signal for other hospital chains to follow suit � or so we hope!

Albeit, the announcement also brings to light another factor key to such necessary change – greater collaboration between software vendors and hospitals.

However, this smooth growth is often impeded by more practical issues such as lack of trained human resources, IT staff that can understand the need for a more comprehensive planning and growth of IT in healthcare; and if ever a hospital manages to find the right personnel to man its IT operations, then the lack of visionary management itself proves to be the biggest hurdle.

This is the focus of our cover story in this issue � based on impressions we have gathered from our interactions with the healthcare and health IT industry. We hope you would find it interesting and let us know your opinion on it, whether you agree or not. We believe knowledge sharing is a two-way street!

We would also like to take this opportunity to announce our new ‘Career Section’ on www.ehealthonline.org, where we hope to provide our readers in the healthcare and technology industry, an uncluttered and unique platform for the gargantuan needs for sourcing trained human resources.

We invite you to post job vacancies in your respective organisations on www.ehealthonline.org/careers/index.asp.

Jobseekers may log on to
http://ehealthonline.org/careers/Jobseeker.asp

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