Improving socio-economic conditions in a nation of a billion people has created a large section of people looking for quality healthcare. They also have another thing that they didn’t have before – choice. With many options available, they are willing to look anywhere for good medical care. Healthcare in India is poised to grow at an estimated annual rate of 15% to reach USD 280 billion by 2022. Another factor for influx of new patients is medical tourism, because we offer world-class health facilities although they are only available to a certain class of people. India’s current medical tourism revenues are close to US$ 450 million, with a predicted growth rate of 15% per annum.
…along with Health insurance markets…
The growth of the healthcare industry has also fostered the growth of the healthcare insurance market. The new patient-base with increased expectations for quality medical care need to be insured to afford state-of-the-art facilities for specialised medical services. Market experts expect over 13-14 per cent annual growth in the health insurance market, with premiums expected to reach Rs 30,000 crore by 2015, registering an increase of 302 per cent from 2011. And health insurance coverage has grown at 445 per cent between 2004 and 2011 in India.
There will be an increased number of patients requiring documentation from their doctors to share with their insurance provider. This demands more efficient systems for storing and accessing data which calls for increased implementation of technology.
… And Healthcare IT has grown because of it.
Supply will always meet demand, so the requirement for manageable systems to store and retrieve medical information has bolstered the growth of the Healthcare IT market in India. It has grown 200—300 per cent in the last 10 years, with a large number of hospitals and clinics turning to technology to help manage their patient information and administrative tasks. Using digital technology to replace old paper-and-pen systems has increased efficiency and minimised wastage of resources.
IT in Healthcare is proven to reduce patient wait times considerably…
A patient’s hospital stay could be reduced by up to 39 per cent with increased implementation of IT to manage patient queues. Incorporation of technology into the primary points-of-contact of the medical institution and the patient can considerably reduce the time patients have to wait to receive their healthcare.
…but the Healthcare industry only spends less than half of what other industries do for IT.
Any industry that caters to such a large and diverse customer base needs effective data management. Industries which have similar data management requirements allocate 5 to 8 per cent of their revenues to the implementation of IT into their operations. The Healthcare industry, however, allocates a paltry 2 per cent to meet their needs, even though it has been obvious for quite sometime that IT will vastly improve the efficiency of day-to-day operations. Another confounding fact is that the Healthcare industry is equally reliant on technology (for medical equipment and such) as the other industries, but continues to neglect this simple and vital aspect. Even though adoption has been growing, it is not growing fast enough to meet the needs of a growing patient base.