The surf-n-sand is surely a holiday goer’s delight, and for that matter, reason enough to indulge and set free from hectic work schedules and deadline blues. But there are times when life seems fair enough; work and leisure get your rare equal share and you do ‘business-on-the-beach’!

That is exactly how it turned out at the recently held ‘2nd Annual Health IT utive Summit’ organised by Frost & Sullivan, held between August 31- September 2, 2007 at the luxurious The Leela, Goa.

This two day exclusive event focused on the theme ‘IT Advancements in Healthcare Delivery’, witnessed an encouraging participation from senior utives of Tier I public and private healthcare institutions; Government heath departments and the IT industry.

Opening this event, Ms. Jayanthi Kulkarni, Director, Healthcare Practice (South Asia and Middle East), Frost & Sullivan, delivered an emphatic overview of the current status and growth potential of the healthcare IT market in India, underlining the promising market forecast (of 18% CAGR between ‘2006-’10) and the differential advantage it delivers in terms of efficiencies in clinical and  operational processes of hospitals; lowering service costs; and delivering  patient satisfaction and customer delight.

The ‘Guests of Honour’ of the event comprised three eminent persons from the government sector- Dr. S K Bhattacharya, Additional Director General, ICMR, Govt. of India; Mr. V C Sharma, Chairman & MD HSCC India Ltd.  Govt. of India; and Dr. Ashok Kumar, Deputy Director General Director, Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, Govt. of India. It was encouraging to find in their speeches, an almost unanimous reiteration about the keen intent of  government towards fostering faster IT adoption in public healthcare domain. In addition, their presentations also highlighted some of the major initiatives undertaken within their own agencies, towards implementation of MIS and IT based work flow and administration.

The two days of deliberations witnessed an impressive line up  of high powered presentations and crackling panel discussions, involving senior utives from  healthcare and IT industry. Speakers and panelists included senior hospital administrators, medical practitioners, IT Managers and technolgy developers.

Some of the most prominent issues that resonated thorughout these interactions concerned the need of healthcare service providers for IT solutions with robust, multi-functional, interoperable and scalable features, and most importantly – ‘patient centricity’ at the core of solution architectures.

While speakers like Daljit Singh (President, Fortis Healthcare) and Vijayrajan (CIO & CTO, Manipal Health Systems) delivered a vivid picture of existing IT systems, HIS and MIS in their facilities, they also shared a fair glimpse of their future plans and their need for appropriate next generation solutions.

Bringing a flavour of best practices from Singapore, Dr Samuel Yeak, Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, showcased the IT practices and infrastructure at his hospital along with the macro level public health information strategy adopted by National Healthcare Group (NHG) of Singapore government. While sharing the Singaporean experience in developing a national public health information network and discussing the implementation details of the initiative, he appreciated the magnanimous scale of such replication in India, in view of the population and geographical spread of the country.

A fair share of IT industry perspectives and latest technological offerings for the healthcare sector came through captivating presentations from senior corporate leaders and business heads of leading IT vendors inlcuding – Microsoft, HP, InterSystems, Sobha Renaissance and  Agfa Healthcare.

Some of the futuristic ideas shared by the industry were highly captivating and provided a vision for the next generation of tech-driven healthcare. A number of interesting concepts and applications emerged, such as – converged IT integration through ‘Future Health’ vision of Microsoft; integrated healthcare management and patient centric HIS of Sobha  Renaissance; state wide public healthcare information network and applications of HP; national health information exchange and database solutions from InterSystems and high end medical imaging and RIS data solutions from Agfa Healthcare.

Healthcare just got healthier !

Event coverage and reporting by:
Dipanjan Banerjee
Manager-eHealth Group

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