Health Policy

Health Care Providers to Spend $ 1 Bn on IT This Year

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Healthcare providers
Indian health care providers will be spending $1 billion (Rs 6,117 crore) on information technology (IT) products and services in 2013, an increase of 17 per cent over the last year, according to IT research and advisory company Gartner Inc.

This forecast includes spending by healthcare providers such as hospitals and hospital systems, ambulatory service and physicians’ practices on internal IT and personnel, hardware, software, external IT services and telecommunications.

Internal services will achieve the highest growth rate among the spending categories, which is forecast at 14.5 per cent in 2013. Internal services refer to salaries and benefits paid to the information services staff of an organisation. The information services staff includes all company employees that plan, develop, implement and maintain information systems. Software will achieve a growth rate of 11 percent in 2013 to reach $98 million in 2013, up from $88 million in 2012, led by growth in vertical specific software (software applications that are unique to a vertical industry. These are stand-alone applications that are not modules or extensions of horizontal applications).

“IT services, which includes consulting, implementation, IT outsourcing and business process outsourcing, will be the largest overall spending category through 2017 the forecast period within the health care providers sector. IT services is expected to grow 6.9 percent in 2013 to reach $276 million in 2013, up from $258 million in 2012 — with the consulting segment growing by 12.4 percent,” Anurag Gupta, research director at Gartner, said on Thursday.

Hospital information systems, picture archiving and communications systems, electronic health records and mobile technologies will be high on the agenda. Gartner expects to see providers benefit by offering cost effective business models, which show quick returns on capital by leveraging the Nexus of Forces (cloud, mobility, big data and social) and improving patient coverage and quality of care. Growth of health insurance will also catalyse technology adoption in healthcare provider segments, he added.

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