India's Healthcare Providers to Splurge on IT Upgrades

Healthcare IT spending in India is expected to grow from US$274.2 million in 2009 to US$609.5 in 2013, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22% from 2009-2013, says the latest “IT in the Healthcare Industry - Emerging Trends and Market Opportunities in India” report from Springboard Research.
The report reveals that hardware accounts for the largest proportion of total IT spending in the healthcare vertical with 55% share, followed by software and IT services at 25% and 20%, respectively in 2009.
“The spending on basic computing products is expected to increase over the next five years, as hospitals build and upgrade their IT infrastructure,” notes Tulika Sheel, Analyst, Vertical Industries at Springboard Research. “With new and upcoming applications such as telemedicine and e-prescriptions penetrating the healthcare vertical in India, IT investments on software would further increase with a focus on integrated billing and online availability of patient records across hospitals.”
Cloud Computing
The Springboard Research report found that 23% of the healthcare respondents who currently use or plan to use cloud computing cite “reduced hardware infrastructure costs” as well as “simplified resource and server provisioning” to be the primary reasons for adoption.
Though cloud/ SaaS applications help healthcare enterprises in reducing their operating costs, the high initial investment, integration with existing systems and lack of knowledge hinder the adoption.

According to the report, HIS is the largest IT solution implemented for healthcare which drives majority of the tier 1 private enterprise investments. As high as 94% of respondents cite implementing HIS while 85% of the respondents have invested on clinical information system, patient management system and laboratory information.
Consolidation of IT System   

The Springboard Research report notes consolidation of IT system as the top most pain point in the healthcare space. Process automation, business alignment, and integration (within and outside of the organization) are pain points which IT departments are struggling to tackle and are well reflected among 28% of the respondents who confirmed consolidation as the primary pain point, outweighing concerns over data management and storage as well as growing data volumes. 
IBM, Dell Services and SAP are some of the key players active in the healthcare space in India whereas Siemens Information Systems Pvt Ltd and Religare Technova are identified as the emerging vendors in this space, notes the report.   

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