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Embracing healthcare software applications

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Vasukumar Nair, Director – Marketing & Sales, 21st Century Informatics

What were some of the key challenges that the Health IT sector faced in 2012?
21st Century Informatics has achieved a few good orders in 2012. For these customers, we are providing solutions ranging from end-to-end hospital information systems to a multi-centred chain of enterprise level solutions. We have leveraged our domain expertise acquired through the last 18 years and continue to provide a scalable, affordable and reliable Hospital Information System. However, the key challenges continue to be slow decision-making and low-budget allocation from the providers’ side. I think there is still lack of awareness on advantages of IT automation and they don’t consider IT as an enabler to improve organisational performance. Finally this will reflect in low IT budgets allocated and sometimes lack of support during the time implementation and that has to be certainly changed.

What changes you have noticed in healthcare in the year 2012 in areas like Health IT, Medical Equipment, Regulations etc? 
One of the few areas that we call ‘happening’ in India is healthcare. We found a lot of stakeholders such as service providers, regulatory bodies, software providers becoming very active and we believe they are the driving forces for that positive happening. In 2012 we participated in a few healthcare events and we found that the industry is talking about interoperability and standardisation. Advanced healthcare applications definitely require reliable and secured interoperable standards. Another factor is that standardisation of a healthcare process needs to be in place, which can also promote better regulation.

What are the prospects of growth for the health IT market in 2013? 
Whether it is green fields or expansion of hospitals, or chain of general clinics, speciality clinics – all components of the Indian healthcare, irrespective of their size, are rapidly embracing healthcare software applications and we are seeing a healthy demand for our solutions. Definitely, there are some new healthcare projects coming up and also many in the expansion mode. There will be a need of healthcare IT applications for these new ventures.

Please tell us about some new and innovative solutions/technologies that you are planning to introduce in 2013? 
We are constantly innovating to provide new features and functionality to our users. We are working on a new technology platform that enables rapid expansion of functionality during IT products implementation. It is supported by advancement in cloud computing technology and emergence of the SaaS model. We are hoping that by mid of 2013, we would be able to launch this for our customers.

What are the top technologies in healthcare that will play crucial role in the year 2013 and beyond? 
There are many technology trends in the market. Whether it is Cloud, Analytics, Big data, the technology is here to stay, but I do not believe that the mid market healthcare organisations have yet taken full advantage of it. I am sure; they can capitalise these emerging technologies and attain competitive advantage.

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