Indian Healthcare providers to spend $1 bn on IT in 2013

Healthcare providers in India will spend $1 billion on IT products and services in 2013, an increase of 7 per cent over 2012, according to Gartner.

This forecast includes spending by health care providers (includes hospitals and hospital systems, as well as ambulatory service and physicians' practices) on internal IT (including personnel), hardware, software, external IT services and telecommunications.

''IT services, which include consulting, implementation, IT outsourcing and business process outsourcing, will be the largest overall spending category through 2017 the forecast period within the healthcare providers sector,'' said Anurag Gupta, research director at Gartner.

''IT services are expected to grow 6.9 per cent in 2013 to reach $276 million in 2013, up from $258 million in 2012 – with the consulting segment growing by 12.4 per cent,'' Gupta added.

Internal services will achieve the highest growth rate amongst the spending categories – forecast to be 14.5 per cent in 2013.

Internal services refer to salaries and benefits paid to the information services staff of an organisation.

The information services staff includes all company employees that plan, develop, implement and maintain information systems.

Software will achieve a growth rate of 11 per cent in 2013 to reach $98 million in 2013, up from $88 million in 2012, led by growth in vertical specific software (software applications that are unique to a vertical industry. These are stand-alone applications that are not modules or extensions of horizontal applications.

The Indian government plans to increase public spending on healthcare to target the dual burden of diseases - communicable and infectious diseases in the lower strata of population and lifestyle diseases within the affluent society.

India has significant catching up to do with other developing countries in the health realm, and the government will keep encouraging the development of the private sector within secondary and tertiary care along with putting financial and manpower resources within the primary care sector through programs like the National Rural Health Mission.

''Hospital information systems, picture archiving and communications systems, electronic health records and mobile technologies will be high on the agenda. We expect to see providers benefit by offering cost effective business models which show quick returns on capital by leveraging the Nexus of Forces (cloud, mobility, big data and social) and improving patient coverage and quality of care. Growth of health insurance will also catalyze technology adoption in healthcare provider segments,'' said Gupta.