Sid Nair, Vice President and Global Head, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Dell Services, Today hospitals are emphasising more on adopting various IT solutions to remain competitive and improve care quality

What is the size of the global Health IT market? What is your market share?

Health IT is aggressively growing in all geographies. A report in May, 2011, predicted that US health IT spend will reach US$40 Billion by end 2012. Dell has a large footprint in global healthcare. It is the number one in EMR software and services in large hospitals and community hospitals and serves nine out of top 10 US healthcare systems. Dells systems cater to more than 100 insurance organisations, supporting 45 million policyholders and 71 percent of the Stage 7 HIMSS EMR Adoption Model hospitals. Dell serves six of the top 10 pharmas and helps over 500,000 physicians connect with their patients.

Tell us about your technologies in the space.

Dell creates end-to-end solutions, bringing together implementation services, process improvement consulting and customised IT technology so that caregivers have better information for better patient care. Dell is one of the few companies that can offer healthcare payers and providers end-to-end solutions including hardware, implementation, hosting, consulting, back office functions (such as enrollment and billing), and services around Electronic Medical Records(EMR), Health Information Exchange (HIE)and Health Insurance Exchange.

What are the challenges being faced by the healthcare providers in India today?

There are several challenges that providers face in India. Patients today are demanding higher quality of care. At the same time there is increasing pressure on providers to cut costs. Healthcare consumers are also demanding greater transparency from their providers. Health insurance is growing in India but is still small compared to western economies. This is leading to mounting receivables, some being irrecoverable as bad debts. Other challenges include workforce related issues including rising HR costs, increasing attrition rates, and lack of qualified staff. Lastly, ineffective procurement and inventory management practices are also hampering providers growth.

What are the opportunities being served by the industry to the Health IT vendors?

More and more hospitals are becoming serious about having robust Hospital Information Systems in emerging economies like India (including but not limited to EMRs, enterprise solutions for finance, HRD, marketing and sales, etc.). Telehealth is being explored to drive remote healthcare delivery models. Web enablement to draw customers, retain them, provide value added services, is expected to catch up. Hospitals are also looking for partners to take care of their IT help desk for Hardware and Software trouble shooting. With more emphasis on accreditations, adoption of quality management systems is accelerating.

How do you think IT in healthcare has transformed the way treatment procedures are carried out?

Telehealth implementations are being utilised to improve the accessibility of care. They are being leveraged both for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Robotic surgery has started to help in bridging time and distance barriers and healthcare IT systems have brought in advances in interventional procedures in interventional radiology, interventional cardiology, interventional gastroenterology and other disciplines.

What is your prediction for health IT market in the next decade in India? What are the growth contributors in the industry?

Healthcare IT market is on a high growth path. Reports peg the growth expected in the healthcare IT market to be around 15-20 percent year on year over next 5-10 years. More and more hospitals in urban India are beginning to look at IT as a transformation tool that would help them in improving quality of patient care, efficiency and effectiveness. The government is expected to invest a lot more in IT for healthcare delivery and is expected to bring automation, an opportunity for health IT vendors.

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Related April 2012