Preparations for eHEALTH India 2008 are on at full throttle. And the huge interest in this unique platform for the Health IT community has quashed any doubts one had about the enormous need for technology to step in and play facilitator to improve healthcare delivery.
The healthcare IT market in India is still at a nascent stage, however, it is a toddler learning fast by imitation of the market trends and movements of the more mature healthcare organisations of the West and Southeast Asia. The market in India is most conducive to the uptake of such solutions.
75% of the healthcare facilities in India are located in the cities, inhabited by only about 25% of the population. The remaining 75% of the population relies on the poorly maintained 25% of the facilities. This massive gap in the demand-supply opens up enormous opportunities for the health IT market.
Even within the cities, there are issues that need addressing, such as thorough, systematised capture, storage and sharing of patient information, allowing faster but error free throughput of the patients through the clinical, administrative and billing procedures of the healthcare organisation. Such an ideal workflow is no longer unachievable, as this month's cover story on Clinical Information Systems (CIS) points out.
The health IT industry in India has made a sincere effort through its unique solutions. However, there still exist skeptics, in both the public and private health infrastructure, especially in the non-metro cities, who need to be converted to take advantage of these solutions to provide better care to the large underserved section of the population.
The total Indian healthcare sector is currently valued at US$ 34 billion and is projected to grow to nearly US$ 40 billion by 2012. The diagnostic and pathology market in India is around 2% of the overall healthcare market. The diagnostic market itself has been growing at 15-20% and by all indications shall continue this way for another 10 years. Thus, it is for us to open up our eyes to the impending future of increased adoption of IT in the healthcare industry and embrace it without further ado.
Find within the pages of this pre-conference issue, a sample representation of the Healthcare IT and medical technology domain, a market ready to burst with the potential it carries within it.
The eHEALTH Team invites you, our readers, to come join us in celebrating the coming of age the eHealth industry!