Magazine

Understanding Health IT Benefits is Crucial

Views: 679

When serving healthcare to country’s 1.2 billion people is real challenge, the Health IT services can be a real game changer

Healthcare IT market is demarcated into two segments of buyer and the provider. The provider market in India is highly fragmented. Experts say around 94 percent is unorganised and dominated largely by small/midsized IT providers. Moreover, IT uptake is limited to custom developed software for usages like billing and patient scheduling. Having said, there are instances of using complete HMIS in medical institutions too. A few institutions are also using Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Radio Information System (RIS), Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) tools. The benefits even extend to alert patients by sending Short Messaging Services (SMS) reminding them about their next medical checkups and so on. IT allows healthcare providers to collect, store, retrieve, and transfer information electronically and also helps in sustaining point-of-care delivery at low costs and in less time. It is continuing to digitise the healthcare system.
Vasukumar Nair, Director, 21st Century Informatics says, “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”.
Karthik Tirupathi, CEO, Napier Healthcare Solutions says, “Various research studies have highlighted India as the fastest growing healthcare IT market in Asia worth more than USD 609 million in 2013. In a price sensitive market where affordability is paramount, annual IT spending is estimated to be at USD 191 million and we can expect it to reach over USD 1.5 billion by 2020 growing at a rate of 25 percent each year”.
Research says the provider market for healthcare IT is the fastest-growing market with the highest revenue generated from the applications of clinical information systems, such as integrated solutions of EHR, PACS, CPOE, and RIS. Amongst these, integrated EHR is the fastest-growing segment due to the financial support provided by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) act.

Haji Mazhar Pasha, President and Managing Director, Netripples Software Group

“A meaningful use of EHR will be the trend of 2013. The healthcare industry is three years into meaningful use, an ambitious incentive program to convince hospitals and private practices to use HER software. NABH is bringing standards and strengthening them with amendments. The rule of protecting patient data, into the 21st century becomes essential. The same goes for telemedicine. On top of that, healthcare finally seems ready to benefit from big data, cloud services and other disruptive technologies that have dramatically changed other vertical industries”.

Alok Anand, Head – Marketing, India & SAARC, Polycom

“In the overall IT enterprise spend, healthcare is a vertical and honestly it’s not a big vertical at the moment. While the growth rates are higher, the sheer volume of contribution is slightly lower. Health IT vertical is 3-4 percent of total IT market, which is not great. There are about 500 companies in India in the private enterprise space, which have a turnover in excess of `1,250 crore. Among these, hardly ten healthcare organisations would feature in this. Actual base and size of this segment is smaller, however growth pace is much much higher”.
Vasukumar Nair, Director, 21st Century Informatics“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”.
Diwakar Nigam, Managing Director, Newgen Software Technologies Ltd

“When it comes to Process Automation and Digitisation, the market is nascent in India at this point of time. However, some of the leading hospital chains are already engaging with us, as leaders driving Healthcare Automation using Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) to streamline their operations, build competitive advantage, and drastically reduce cost of service.”

Upcoming trends
Cloud Computing has emerged as a silver-lining model for the healthcare IT industry. It enables the management and migration of huge amount of data, saves costs, offers anytime access from multiple mobile devices, provides high availability for large backup data storage, and is easy to use. Cloud Computing is offered as a private Cloud, public Cloud, and hybrid Cloud. Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, in terms of security, public cloud computing services are preferred by the healthcare industry in order to be HIPPA compliant. Growth drivers The growth has been majorly attributed to developments like-rising incomes, easier access to high quality healthcare facilities, greater awareness about personal health and hygiene, favorable government policies and greater penetration of health insurance etc. Also Internet penetration has increased remarkably giving an impetuous to online healthcare. All these factors directly and indirectly have been giving good reasons to the hospital/clinic administrators to use Health IT more aggressively.

Perspective from Health IT Thought Leaders
Yao Weimin, VP-Corporate Affairs, Huawei India says, “The Indian healthcare industry, which comprises hospitals, medical infrastructure, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, health insurance and medical equipment, was valued at USD 79 billion in 2012, and is expected to reach USD160 billion by 2017. As per 2012 statistics, Tech- Navio’s analysts forecasted the Global Healthcare IT market to grow at a CAGR of 5.3 percent over the period 2012-2016. In the past few years India has made commendable progress in terms of leveraging healthcare IT in order to ensure healthcare access for otherwise inaccessible segments of the population”.
Alok Anand, Head – Marketing, India & SAARC, Polycom, says, “In the overall IT enterprise spend, healthcare is a vertical and honestly it’s not a big vertical at the moment. While the growth rates are higher, the sheer volume of contribution is slightly lower. Health IT vertical is 3-4 percent of total IT market, which is not great. There are about 500 companies in India in the private enterprise space, which have a turnover in excess of `1,250 crore. Among these, hardly ten healthcare organisations would feature in this. Actual base and size of this segment is smaller, however growth pace is much much higher.”
Diwakar Nigam, Managing Director, Newgen Software Technologies Ltd says, “When it comes to Process Automation and Digitisation, the market is nascent in India at this point of time. However, some of the leading hospital chains are already engaging with us, as leaders driving Healthcare Automation using Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) to streamline their operations, build competitive advantage, and drastically reduce cost of service.
The opportunity for IT led transformation is huge, but the challenges faced by the Indian healthcare industry, comprising of healthcare providers payers, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment manufacturers, are unique. In the coming years we expect huge traction from the Indian Healthcare industry.”
Haji Mazhar Pasha, President and Managing Director, Netripples Software Group says, “A meaningful use of EHR will be the trend of 2013. The healthcare industry is three years into meaningful use, an ambitious incentive program to convince hospitals and private practices to use HER software. NABH is bringing standards and strengthening them with amendments. The rule of protecting patient data, into the 21st century becomes essential. The same goes for telemedicine. On top of that, healthcare finally seems ready to benefit from big data, cloud services and other disruptive technologies that have dramatically changed other vertical industries”.

Challenges for Health IT providers
Market forces are changing the landscape of Health IT. The market for proprietary patient health record systems is growing and consolidating. Competition is increasing. The separate roles of developers, vendors and integrators are merging. These commercial efforts may help establish de facto standards for security, portability and interoperability. However, challenges for Indian Health IT providers are decade old- to deal with the mindset of caregivers where IT seen as an extra expense and not an enabler.

Conclusion
Indian healthcare is a story of paradoxes. In one side, we have highly developed multi & super specialty hospitals; on the other we have villages and semi urban villages deprived of basic healthcare services. In this context of disparity in accessing healthcare, IT that includes mHealth, telemedicine can play a bigger role.

Recommended from all portals

Latest News

To Top