Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, medical practices of all sizes are under immense pressure, and healthcare facilities across the globe have been overwhelmed by the large number of patients visiting them on a daily basis. The rising prevalence of coronavirus disease has driven the demand for accurate diagnosis and treatment devices in several countries across the globe. In this regard, connected care technologies have proven to be very helpful, as they allow healthcare providers to monitor patients using digitally connected noninvasive devices, such as home blood pressure monitors and pulse oximeters.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also increased the need for social distancing among physicians and patients, which has driven the demand for healthcare IT solutions such as remote patient monitoring and telehealth solutions and the need for the accurate and timely exchange of patient health records. In this regard, healthcare IT is an effective tool that provides a framework for exchanging, sharing, and retrieving electronic health information with advanced security.
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Driver: Rising use of big data
In the last few years, the volume of electronic data produced in the healthcare industry has expanded to terabytes and petabytes, primarily due to the digitization of administrative, clinical, and financial information. With the volume growing almost twofold every year, it is expected to reach exabytes and even zettabytes in the coming years. In addition to the growing volume, the sheer diversity of data in healthcare presents a major challenge for healthcare providers. The length of the data and its heterogeneity make healthcare data more complex when compared to other industries. To address these challenges in the healthcare industry, service providers are increasingly adopting healthcare analytics and data management solutions.
# In May 2021, Optum and Bassett Healthcare Network collaborated to further enhance Bassett’s clinical and operational performance and advance the delivery of high-quality, convenient, and affordable healthcare for patients across Central New York.
# In June 2021, Cognizant and Aker Solutions partnered to modernize and simplify its entire IT infrastructure, including its business technology network and application maintenance and development.
# In March 2021, Change Healthcare collaborated with Amazon Web Services to announce the launch of a new Data Science as a Service (DSaaS) platform, which is aimed at improving outcomes and healthcare economics for vulnerable health communities
# In August 2020, Cerner Corporation collaborated with Amazon to easily connect vital health and well-being information with their broader healthcare teams.
Restraint: IT infrastructural constraints in developing countries
Cost issues are one of the major barriers to the adoption of healthcare IT solutions. The maintenance and software update costs of these systems are more than the price of the software. Support and maintenance services, which include software upgrades as per changing user requirements, represent a recurring expenditure amounting to almost 30% of the total cost of ownership. Moreover, the lack of internal IT expertise in the healthcare industry necessitates training for end users to maximize the efficiency of various healthcare IT solutions, thereby adding to the cost of ownership of these systems.
The implementation cost of healthcare IT solutions in healthcare systems of emerging economies is even more as they also require capital for building an infrastructure needed for implementing healthcare IT solutions. Therefore, hospitals often prefer investing in the core technologies directly linked to patient quality of care than investing in allied departments. Thus, the high cost of deployment and maintenance restricts smaller healthcare organizations from investing in healthcare IT solutions, especially in the emerging markets across the APAC and Latin America.
Opportunity: Rising use of healthcare IT solutions in outpatient care facilities
In response to the rising pressures on health systems to lower the cost of care, the industry is shifting towards outpatient settings to reduce the care cost. In addition, convenience is another important factor driving the rise of ambulatory care. With the increase in the number of outpatient settings and patient influx, the demand and usage of healthcare IT solutions in outpatient settings will increase.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing market for healthcare IT market during the forecast period.
The Asia Pacific market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The high growth in this regional market can be attributed to rising medical tourism, the implementation of new ICT guidelines in Japan, investments and reforms to modernize China’s healthcare infrastructure, the rapidly growing healthcare industry in India, and the implementation of IT programs in Australia and New Zealand. In addition, government initiatives for the adoption of HCIT, the growth of the geriatric population, the rising prevalence of chronic diseases, soaring healthcare expenditure, and the growth of purchasing power of consumers will also propel the market.
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Key Market Players
The major players in the global healthcare IT market are Optum (US), Cerner (US), Cognizant (US), Change Healthcare (US), Philips Healthcare (Netherlands), Epic Systems (US), Dell Technologies (US), Allscripts (US), GE Healthcare (US), IBM (US), athenahealth (US), eClinicalWorks (US), Oracle Corporation (US), Conduent (US), Infor (US), Tata Consultancy Services (India), Wipro Limited (India), Conifer Health (US), Nuance (US), 3M (US), Inovalon (US), InterSystems (US), Carestream Health (US), Orion Health (US), Practice Fusion (US), and SAS Institute (US).