Russian healthcare IT spending to reach $882.0 million by 2017

A recent Frost & Sullivan research finds information and communication technology (ICT) to play a major role in the development of the Russian healthcare industry, and a top priority for investments.

In 2009, the Russian Ministry of Health noted that with 20% of the hospitals using IT systems, there was an average of 37 computers per hospital, which amounted to five employees having to share one system. However, over the past few years, Frost’s research analyst, Malgorzata Filar finds accelerated recovery in IT investments and is expected to stay positive in the future. The healthcare IT spending, which was $310.0 million in 2010, is likely to reach $882.0 million by 2017, at a 16.1% CAGR.

The research finds that the main impetuses driving these investments are the Healthcare Development Concept 2020, a legislation that supports accessibility and quality care services, with healthcare IT development as one of its goals, and numerous state and national-level initiatives. Promotional and lobbying activities of the Russian Association of Healthcare IT vendors (ARMIT), an association of 284 healthcare developers, also support this endeavor.

Telemedicine is another area in the Russian healthcare industry that is witnessing a lot of progress due to the distinct urban-rural divide in care delivery. Telemedicine has also earned a lot of popularity with focus driven towards cost effectiveness and an accelerated development of broadband services across the nation. This means of remote healthcare delivery is aligned toward basic video communication consultations and distant diagnosis.

Although ICT applications are poised to impact the Russian healthcare market, their widespread adoption is hindered by concerns like lack of essential knowledge and skill in operating the systems, and sufficient purchasing power. Failing to realize any tangible benefit from implementing new solutions, and the absence of legislative regulations for governing electronic medical records has also further staggered the adoption. Even though there are over 300 medical information systems (MIS) currently operating in Russia, without established information exchange standards, systematic implementation of MIS and interoperability among various applications have not been achieved.

On the positive side, Filar finds most of these concerns addressed through national strategies for health, with the potential expansion of health IT.

The Russian government has made attempts to modernize the nation’s healthcare system. According to the IT department head of the Russian Ministry of Healthcare, Roman Ivakin, Russia is developing a healthcare IT system for regions that have different population strength, incomes, and progression of electronic technology. IT is believed to foster trans-boundary access to health data. This and system interoperability across countries is expected to aid in better monitoring of various groups of people and developing remote medical assistance technology.

Global ICT Industry
In healthcare, the increasing aging population and chronic diseases, and resultant rise in healthcare costs have initiated the concept of ICT, through internet-based electronic health (e-health) and telemedicine, which is considered the largest market in ICT. Apart from remote care, ICT plays an important role in public health, facilitating the availability of information and communication technology. Despite having vital gains, the healthcare industry is considered the slowest to adopt the technology.

By leveraging mobile networks, A 2010 Juniper Research study anticipates the global remote patient monitoring industry to reach $1.9 billion by 2014.

The eHealth market size ranges between $96 billion and $160 billion (2008 and 2010 estimates), having a growth rate of 12%-16% from 2010 to 2015. With the US IT industry comprising almost half of this market, in view of comparatively high eHealth adoption rate, the BRIC countries and Europe are staked as the largest secondary markets, while developing countries are spending relatively less on IT.

Australia: Through the implementation of the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) system in June 2012, the Australian government has illustrated its commitment in promoting e-health as a vital element to the transformation of the nation’s healthcare. Services of the PCEHR, shared health summary and event summary, and self managed care and complex care management are delivered through ePathology, eReferrals, eDischarge, eMedication, and the country’s National Product Catalogue (NPC). These services and solutions are supported by eHealth foundational components like the National Authentication Service for Healthcare (NASH) for the authentication of parties involved in every eHealth transaction and Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service, which identifies stakeholders of Australia’s healthcare through a 16-digit identification number.

Analyzing these efforts made by the nation as a whole, a 2012 IDC study summaries that the current focus should be on ensuring that the investments made are exploited to the fullest in order to gain maximum efficiencies, and enhancing productivity to lower the costs of delivering quality healthcare. Furthermore, the study recommends that the government dynamically updates compliance regulations for privacy, security and data access, and invests early in analytics to generate actionable data.

BRICS: Despite involving the fastest-developing large economic countries, healthcare services in BRICS nations are not in par with those of the developed nations. However, having the two largest users of telecommunications – China and India – MarketsandMarkets research firm (2010) estimates its telemedicine industry to reach $418.4 million by 2014, at a CAGR of 15.8% from the year 2009 to 2014. While the telemedicine technology market is staked at $307.4 million (CAGR of 16.6%), the services market is expected to reach $111 million (CAGR of 13.8%) during the same time period.

Southeast Asia: Frost and Sullivan, in 2011, reported a very prosperous market for health IT in the Southeast Asian countries. A series of market reports by IDC in 2012, have estimated the ICT spending by 2015 to increase to US$170.58 million (from 2011’s US$117.39 million) in Thailand, US$29.31 million (from US$16.44 million in 2011) in Vietnam, and US$193.51 million (from 2011 value of US$150.11 million) in Indonesia.

Conclusion
As per a recent GSMA report, the investment for ICT implementation will be based on the existing infrastructure of the country. While developed countries already have in place technical infrastructure and legacy eHealth systems, their investments will revolve around replacing or integrating with these systems. On the other hand, the report states that developing countries would concentrate investments on building a fundamental ICT infrastructure, such as care access and connectivity, and in enabling basic health data collection.

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mhealth + Telehealth World 2013

mhealth + Telehealth World 2013

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