Vasukumar Nair, Director, 21st Century Informatics, gives a simple analogy by saying ‘How well you drive the car matters more than the model of car you have’. In conversation with Sharmila Das, ENN
How the Indian health IT market is growing and by what percentage?
There are many reports providing different numbers. All the reports convey a positive double digit growth for healthcare IT. The good signs are that the budget allocation for healthcare in the GDP is rising and that the healthcare market is growing at a rate of 18 to 20 percent. When it comes to healthcare IT market, apart from existing institutions and their expansion projects, green field projects too have shown an equivalent growth. But the current healthcare IT opportunities are so huge that even existing hospitals have a lot of market opportunity.
What kind of solutions do you provide to the healthcare sector in India?
21st Century Infomatics offers innovative healthcare informatics solutions for healthcare service providers such as hospitals, diagnostic centres and specialty clinics among others. Our products and solutions are simple, integrated and configurable healthcare process solutions. Our solution offerings include Healthcare Information System (HIS), Clinic Information System (CIS), Laboratory Information System (LIS), Advanced Imaging System and Electronic Medical Records (EMR). These solutions are process driven, professionally made with input from practicing clinicians and are open to make the Health IT system ‘tailor-made’ for different sub-specialities.
In providing solutions to hospitals and to others, what kind of challenges you face?
We find a portion of the market still considers healthcare informatics solutions as just another medical equipment purchase. The reason for this misconception is that it is often not easy to assess and measure the benefits of healthcare informatics solutions using clinical and diagnostic disciplines of automation. It is difficult to develop a strong business case necessary to attract a reasonable budget to procure a best-in-class product. Another factor is the poor track record of HIS/HMS vendors and the implementation issues. In addition, the challenges of fulfilling the ever-changing requirement scenario most often leave the users dissatisfied with the products offered and their applications. Many healthcare organisations face the challenge of data interoperability. Interoperability is essential as with DICOM, HL7, and other clinical standards. Our healthcare systems definitely require reliable and secured interoperable standards. We have observed that interoperability and data standardisation are the key areas to be covered in our solutions.
Dearth of good talent in healthcare informatics in the provider space is also a challenge.