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Shift in focus needed for healthcare IT

New research from Frost & Sullivan: 'Growth Opportunity Assessment of Healthcare IT market in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain', concludes that the focus needs to move from healthcare IT solutions that simply capture data to solutions that can enable data sharing, clinical decision support and value propositions that target and understand specific customer needs.

Between December 2016 and March 2017, Frost & Sullivan conducted a survey of IT managers from 198 hospitals across Western European countries. The report analyses trends, drivers, growth opportunities and challenges for healthcare IT (HTIC) investment.

“In spite of high electronic health record adoption levels, only 15 to 20 per cent of hospitals share data beyond their own organisation,” says Connected Health Senior Research Analyst Shruthi Parakkal. “However, with changing care paradigms, such as a focus on patient centricity, innovation in care delivery models, and demand for workflow efficiency, improving health data continuity will be a key goal for both governments and providers over the next five years. As a result, interoperability, and standards development and adoption will be major priorities across health systems.”

Approximately one-third of the hospitals interviewed allocate 11 to 20 per cent of their overall annual budget to various healthcare IT solutions, with 70 per cent confirming an average increase of 15 to 20 per cent growth in the budget during the past two to three years. As basic IT infrastructure is almost established in these countries, the increase in budget indicates a growth opportunity for solutions that augment basic infrastructure such as clinical decision support tools, applications for data sharing, integration, privacy and security, healthcare business intelligence, and big data analytics.

“By establishing basic healthcare IT infrastructure, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and France are data creators and have to scale up to become data innovators in the next five years,” noted Parakkal. “For this, healthcare providers have to develop a strategy that derives maximum value out of the current healthcare IT infrastructure by augmenting data utilisation and sharing between systems and providers.”

The HCIT market comprises software solutions used by healthcare providers, namely hospitals, academic medical institutions, secondary care centres and primary care providers. It does not include hardware and devices. From an end-user standpoint, the market is segmented into primary care HCIT and hospital HCIT. The hospital HCIT segment can be further categorized into Clinical Information System (CIS) and Non-Clinical Information System (NCIS, which primarily includes administrative and financial management systems).