Hewlett Packard offers a plethora of health and life sciences solutions that help transform patient care delivery.
Girish Kumar, Practice Head of the Healthcare and Lifesciences division at HP provides key insights into the business of HP in the healthcare space.
Practice Head – Healthcare & Life Sciences
What difference in complexity and functionality of IT solutions signifies the healthcare industry?
The healthcare industry has some very unique attributes in the way it operates internally, within the ecosystem, and also how it relates with the external world including customers. This has a lot to do with the profession and criticality of the industry.
‘Medicine’ as a science lacks the exactitude of other sciences. Because of this skill based nature, standardization of care has always been the biggest challenge of this profession. It is not necessary for two patients to show the same response to a specific treatment; nor is it necessary for two doctors to make same decisions to a similar case presentation. Though there are lots of advancements in medicine the element of “I treat and THY cure” is not fully out of the core clinical practice.
Whereas, ‘computing’ is an exact science, program based and deterministic, the complexity lies when this is applied as a tool on the practice of a profession which is not so deterministic in its functions. This basic mismatch coupled with the fact that the profession deals with ‘life and death’ situations add tremendous complexity to the IT solutions provided. That is the reason why most of the hospitals can easily use IT solutions in areas like billing, inventory management etc but not so in clinical areas of functioning. However, healthcare as an industry practice encompasses, much more than hospitals (providers). IT solutions are being more successfully used in many other components of the eco systems like the payer segment, diagnostic and therapeutic segment, medical equipments and gadgets, pharma industry, medical transcription, etc.
On the other hand, healthcare has often been viewed as ‘Not for Profit’. However, healthcare organisations face the same operational efficiency, and productivity challenges as other industries. Even in a digital environment, administrative costs can eat up about 25 percent of every dollar spent on healthcare. However, administrative costs represent only a fraction of the total healthcare challenge. Finding new, cutting-edge approaches that improve health status while managing benefit expenditures is also critical.
With advancements in medical science, there has also been a tremendous growth of information. Today, more and more healthcare providers understand the value of electronic health or medical record, medical archival and business intelligence.
As we go forward, business technology will become a key enabler for healthcare organizations in providing quality services to its clientèle, as well as a key to their competitive differentiation.
What solutions and products are currently offered by HP for healthcare sector?
The healthcare industry is a key focus area for HP. The acquisition of EDS has augmented our capabilities, bringing rich domain experience, strong intellectual property and multiple solutions to the table. HP’s vertical expertise touches healthcare providers, healthcare payers, pharmaceutical and life sciences segments all around the world. Cross-industry solutions, such as health information exchange and health information management and analytics, bring additional value in allowing the health industry to utilize collaborative, best-practice knowledge to set new operational standards.
Our healthcare solution has also been awarded full URAC accreditation in health utilization management (URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is a leader in promoting healthcare quality through its accreditation and certification programs). HP products like ‘MetaVance’ interchange and ‘Atlantes’, are used globally by hospitals, third party administrators (TPAs) and health insurance companies. Our process automation and data repository products form the data management backbone of numerous pharmaceutical and life science organizations. If you have visited a hospital recently, chances are you would have seen HP’s tablet PCs and handheld devices being used to capture patient data at their bedside. Our medical archiving solution (MAS) is widely used for archiving the whole gamut of digital images delivered from a host of medical imaging equipment and gadgets. We also use our business intelligence expertise to help healthcare providers transform the way they use information for daily use.
What are some of your notable healthcare projects in India?
HMIS for Medical Education and Drugs Department, Govt of Maharashtra is the largest healthcare project that we are currently into. This is one of the pioneering efforts of any state government in India in healthcare. We are providing end-to-end IT solution and system integration in 18 hospitals and 14 medical colleges within the state of Maharashtra. We are also creating a central repository of patient data at the state level. All compatible medical equipments and gadgets are interfaced with the HMIS solution providing universal access within the system. The biggest advantage this project is that it is delivered as an outsourced service in BOOR (Build Own Operate and Refresh) where there is no upfront investment for the government and the payments are made on installment/transaction basis for seven years. We have successfully completed the pilot at Sir JJ Hospital and Grant Medical College in Mumbai and also rolled out and gone live in GMC & Hospital Nagpur, BJ Medical & Super Specialty Hospital Pune, and GMC & Hospital Aurangabad. The GT, Cama and St. George hospitals in Mumbai are almost ready to go live in the next phase.
From a corporate hospital stand point, we are currently implementing the HCIS solution at a leading corporate hospital in Mumbai. This is one of the most prestigious and technologically advanced state-of-the-art hospitals, which is poised to be the first digital hospital in the country. We are also implementing a TPA solution in the country.
What is your view regarding the growth pattern in Indian health IT market? What share of it do you target over next 2-3 years?
Driven by the country’s growing middle class, India is seeing a ‘health transition’ in terms of shifting demographics, socio-economic transformations and changes in disease patterns. A PricewaterhouseCoopers study ‘Healthcare in India: Emerging market report 2007’, estimates that the revenues from the healthcare sector accounts for 5.2 percent of the GDP, making it the third largest growth segment in India. IT will become a key enabler for healthcare organization to manage these levels of growth. Industry analysts estimate that IT is expected to approximately grow at a CAGR of 22 percent to USD 254 million by 2012. At HP, we’d like to play a key part in helping our customers realize this transformation.
What is your business strategy for the short and long term market opportunities? What forms of new technologies/applications are expected to emerge in future?
Apart from bringing rich intellectual property, at HP we bring together a large pool of resources with strong domain experience who are based in India and serve customers globally and locally. Our strategy has been focused on delivering innovation in the market and we are seeing Indian customers more than keen to leverage this. By bringing together the breadth of portfolio, we can also help customers bring down the cost of healthcare. HP understands the value of innovation in the health and life sciences market and is working with customers and local partners to develop new solutions that enable organizations to access information, integrate processes and transform how they collaborate in order to lower costs, function more efficiently, and most important, provide a better quality of care to individuals.