Growth in data, digitization trends in health information and electronic medical records, improvements in collaborative data exchange, workflows and mobility and need for better financial management are changing the needs of the hospital enterprise.
The potential healthcare industry is the world’s largest industry with total revenues of approx $2.8 trillion according to Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). In India as well healthcare has emerged as one of the largest service sectors with estimated revenue of around $30 million constituting 5% of GDP and offering employment to around 4 million people.
With the industry is on a growth trajectory, the IT spending in the sector too has been gearing up but not to the extent to China. According to the IDC Health Insights, the healthcare IT spending in the Asia Pacific excluding Japan region shows a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% till 2018.
For the same period the China Healthcare sector emerges as the fastest growing IT spender in the region with the highest CAGR of 11.7%. By 2025 Indian population will reach 1.4 billion with about 45% constituting urban adult. To cater to this demographic change the healthcare sector will have to be about $100 billion in size contributing nearly upto 8-10% of the then GDP, thus increasing the CAGR of IT spending in the sector.
Frost & Sullivan in its report in the healthcare IT market last year suggested that the healthcare information technology market in India will reach to $1,454.7 million in 2018 mainly due to the fast adoption of technology by the stakeholders.
While the Asia/Pacific countries are very disparate when it comes to infrastructure and IT maturity, as well as healthcare systems, every country, whether developed or developing, is looking to create a sustainable healthcare system.
The region cannot afford to stop investing in healthcare with many countries still struggling with improving basic health outcomes. The region holds immense potential for the vendor community, also because of the high population base and the relatively nascent stage of IT adoption in developing countries.
“The spending pattern clearly demarcates the developing and the mature economies in the region. There emerge two clear groups of countries when it comes to IT maturity. Countries, where hardware spending comprises more than 50% of the total IT spending, are still focused on infrastructure. The mature economies are expected to spend less than 50% on hardware. Where the initial infrastructure investments have been made, the spending pattern shifts to software and services,” says Sash Mukherjee, Research Manager, IDC Health Insights, Asia/Pacific.
“Growth will be driven by infrastructural spending in developing countries and collaborative tools in the mature economies.”
Benefits of IT adoption
IT has emerged as the lucrative solution for healthcare industry and has helped to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery in a cost effective manner. IT allows healthcare providers to collect, retrieve, store and transfer information electronically and helps in sustaining point of care delivery in less time at a low cost. Due to its various benefits adoption of healthcare IT solutions is on a continual rise. Some significant benefits include improved quality of care, enhanced administrative efficiency and financial benefits. The research firm MarketsandMarkets report suggest that the provider market of the 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, CVIS, CDSS, PACS, CPOE and RIS. Amongst these HER is the fastest growing segment due to the financial support provided by the HIPPA act, revised ICD-10 guidelines, and incentives offered to physicians in the U.S. who successfully meet the criteria of ‘Meaningful Use’ by 2015.
Cloud computing is another technology that has emerged as the silver lining model for 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. Hospitals, research clinics, private health care institutions and doctors are looking for solutions to increase daily activities, efficiency and decrease their spending.
Cloud computing technologies, if used appropriately, have a response to all these requirements. Thus, cloud computing provides to the healthcare environment the opportunity to improve services for patients, to easily share information, to improve operational efficiency, and to streamline costs.
Electronic Health Records are also beneficial for checking the patients’ history in less time and the care is delivered and compensated in a limited time. With EHR the information is available whenever and wherever it is needed. The adoption of EHR improves quality and convenience of the patient care, increase patient participation in their care, improves accuracy of diagnoses and health outcomes, increase practice efficiencies and cost savings.