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Electronics Production | February 27, 2007

Emerging Opportunities in Hospital IT

According to a Frost & Sullivan report, there is a need for a complete linked Healthcare network to promote uptake of hospital IT solutions across Europe.
The Information Technology (IT) sector has influenced various industries, including the European healthcare industry. The capabilities of IT solutions coupled with domain expertise are a crucial factor contributing to the growth of hospital IT systems. With an urgent requirement to streamline treatment processes, healthcare service providers are increasingly relying on IT solutions, thereby offering significant growth opportunities for hospital IT vendors across Europe.

“The growing use and successes of IT in several industry sectors has strongly influenced the healthcare sector," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Rahul Philip Mampallil. “Solutions supporting healthcare are witnessing consistent growth as they align the complete channels of operations in the healthcare system."

Moreover, with pressure from governments to develop a seamless capability across Europe, the need to have a complete linked healthcare network in the region will offer growth opportunities to healthcare IT vendors.

“Clinical IT systems assist in overcoming scarce resources, including the time available to healthcare providers, and this is considered to be a driving factor for improving the drug prescription and administration processes in a hospital or primary care trust," observes Mr. Mampallil. “These solutions perform with a high level of success and ardently support a cost – benefit value proposition."

Customised stand-alone solutions are witnessing increasing pressures on growth due to intense competition from enterprise solution providers. These solutions are generally provided for services such as nursing, pharmacy, laboratory and radiology.

Although enterprise and individual hospital IT solutions are both present in the healthcare system, demand for each solution will depend on the approach of hospitals. The success and stability of these solutions will be determined by the integration capability of their software modules. Integrating the hospital enterprise is an effective method to optimise the use of healthcare IT solutions.

“The entry of global participants into the European healthcare market has created greater need for domestic healthcare IT vendors to develop solutions which can be easily integrated," says Mr. Mampallil. “Also, healthcare organisations tend to display preference for enterprise solutions supplied by global vendors."

Thus, local vendors would do well to broaden their product portfolio, which will create opportunities to supply solutions as an enterprise package that covers all the functionalities in a hospital or primary care trust.

Currently, governments in Europe are taking initiatives such as the Connecting for Health (CfH) by the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom and the Dossier Medical Personnel (DMP) in France. These projects are commissioned on a large scale and will increase the usage of hospital IT solutions.

Most hospitals across western Europe possess information systems for administration purposes. The installation of clinical solutions will take place over the next few years, depending on the functionalities required by hospitals and primary care trusts. Besides, hospital IT solutions that have matured in a particular market in Europe are likely to create visibility in neighbouring regions.

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