Healthcare spending in IT to grow due to patients driven activities

Infotech Lead Asia: IT investment in healthcare sector is likely to grow faster thanks to a number of patients driven activities.

Cisco’s Customer Experience Study on health care, which said 94 percent of Indians are willing to store their health records in the cloud for easy access, is a strong indication for further IT spending in the Indian healthcare sector.

88 percent in India are comfortable with interacting with their doctors virtually instead of meeting them in person.

87 percent of consumers surveyed in India would trust technology to determine whether or not they need to see a doctor.

Earlier, Gartner said that healthcare providers in India will spend INR 57 billion on IT products and services in 2013, an increase of 7 percent over 2012 revenue of INR 53 billion. This forecast includes spending by healthcare providers (includes hospitals and hospital systems, as well as ambulatory service and physicians’ practices) on internal IT (including personnel), hardware, software, external IT services and telecommunications.

Telecommunications, which includes telecommunications and networking equipment and services, will remain the largest overall spending category throughout the forecast period within the healthcare providers sector. It is expected to grow 3.9 percent in 2013 to reach INR 17.2 billion in 2013, up from 16.6 billion in 2012 – most of this growth will be in enterprise communication equipment.

According to the Cisco survey, which covered 200 respondents from India, 86 percent of Indian consumers surveyed would be comfortable with submitting genetic information to a doctor or other healthcare professionals to ensure they have all information available to treat and offer the most personal diagnosis possible.

Vishal Gupta, VP/general manager, Global Healthcare Solutions, said: “The state of convergence between the physical and digital world has raised the expectations of consumers and at the same time expanded scope for healthcare providers to take their engagement further with more collaboration and information.”

75 percent of HCDMs surveyed in India believe data protection is adequate for protecting health/medical data privacy in their respective countries, while a lower percentage of the surveyed consumers (64 percent) believe data protection is adequate.

Nearly half of all consumers surveyed and two-thirds of the HCDMs surveyed would be comfortable getting health information through social media channels.

Compared to global consumers, Indian consumers expressed a greater than average comfort level in sharing and receiving health information through social media channels.  In return, an even larger proportion of HCDMs feel comfortable providing health information to consumers via social media channels.

In India, over 50 percent of the consumers surveyed would find it valuable if their health care provider presented appointment reminders, information for managing drug side effects and treatment reminders via social media.

62 percent of the Indian consumers surveyed expressed a willingness to share a range of information regarding their health as compared to 42 percent global response rate.

In India 75 percent of HCDMs believe consumers would be willing to share a variety of health information via social media websites, while only 35 percent of Indian consumers indicated previously using social media to share information about their health with their doctors

Almost 60 percent are ok with health care providers sharing personal data about their patients if it improves the quality of future care, however, only 45 percent of HCDM’s believe that health care providers should be allowed to share patient information.

75 percent of global consumers indicate they are comfortable with the idea of communicating with doctors using technology instead of seeing them in person.

88 percent of consumers surveyed in India indicated they would be comfortable with communicating about health care with their doctors using technology instead of seeing them in person. 76 percent of HCDMs also indicated they would be comfortable communicating with consumers using technology rather than in person.

Respondents in India are significantly more willing than the rest to receiving health care remotely. Nearly 88 percent of consumers would be comfortable communicating with a specialist using virtual technology (e.g. video chatting, text messaging) for a health condition rather than visiting the specialist in person.

Additionally, more than 75 percent of consumers in the country would prefer to consult a specialist using virtual technology than to receive treatment in person from a less experienced professional.

More than half of consumers in India indicate they can access upcoming health care appointments, lab reports, physician visit notes and prescription notes electronically

75 percent of consumers and HCDMs in India agree it would benefit a patient’s care if healthcare professionals were able to monitor conditions using remote monitoring devices that send health information automatically

Interest in accessing health information on mobile devices is growing rapidly and is the No. 1 topic of consumer interest in India, Mexico, Brazil and China. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed in India confirmed using health and fitness or medical apps on their mobile devices.

At 85 percent, the proportion of Indian consumers who would trust a machine designed to help them perform everyday tasks such as planning and preparing meals is among the highest globally.

87 percent of consumers in India would trust a machine designed to diagnose their overall health and provide a medical recommendation determining whether or not they needed to see a doctor.

Around 69 percent of Indian consumers surveyed tend to use the Internet for a variety of health care activities

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