India’s private healthcare sector to spend more on IT

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Recently, we came across news in an online Publication, businesswire.com

The economic downturn has barely touched India healthcare, says AMI

Healthcare Sector to spend more on IT

KOLKATA, India-- With the growth of the India middle class, there is a shift toward private healthcare services. And the health insurance sector is maturing, offering greater scope and reach. India’s medical tourism is also booming. “In other words, the stage is set for establishing greater operational efficiencies, compliance with government regulations and uptake of latest technologies,” says Chakravarty.

Computing spending drives over half the overall IT spending for this vertical. As hospitals build and upgrade their IT infrastructure, spending on basic computing products will increase. As the healthcare industry matures, there will be a need for enhanced communication amongst doctors for collaboration and information exchange. Not surprisingly, Internet usage has grown over the years, and internet spending makes up approximately 13% of this total market.

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Experts from Medimanage.com give their opinion:

KS Sankar:

K S Sankar from Medimanage.com

Purely from the customer (read, patient) perspective, I see this as a double edged sword. The burden of US$250M will certainly get passed on to the patients; The investment, going by the report, seems to be going primarily into improving efficiencies of internal managerial processes than healthcare delivery per se. Eventually when economies out of these improved computing methodologies, etc. accrue, I see every chance of the advantages of these being retained by the healthcare providers than being passed on to/shared with the patients, if the healthcare industry’s past behavior is anything to go by.

In one sentence, therefore, I see this causing only a spurt in healthcare costs.

Corporates, prepare yourselves to pay even higher health insurance premiums next year. And you individuals may not be an exception to this soothsay.

Sudhir Sarnobat:

Sudhir Sarnobat from Medimanage.com

In India, earlier the outlook towards hospital was that of a Philanthropic Initiative. This has now changed to as profitable business. With business at core, the customer has become important (but we still see this industry majorly lacking in customer service & the reason is Demand-Supply imbalance and patient fear/loyalties) & so is the business efficiency. World over, technology is being used for better customer service (thru understanding the behaviour which is captured thru data) which results in better revenue OR for improving efficiencies which helps an institution to lower cost &/or cater to larger groups at same cost.

Hospitals are following the same rule & embracing technology like fish takes to water. This will also increase the capex for all hospitals & thus the healthcare cost would definitely rise initially (more than 80% of healthcare in India is paid out-of-pocket & delivered by Private sector). This would result in more demand for health insurance products like Mediclaim.

 

 

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