23 June 2014 | Interviews | By BioSpectrum Bureau
IT will reposition Healthcare in years to come
Mr Veera Raghavan, executive director and global practice head, Dell Services â€“ Healthcare and Life Sciences
1. Can you please provide us some statistics that will highlight how the healthcare sector has changed over the years?
It's interesting to attribute to the fact that currently at $128 billion, healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in the country, with a CAGR of 15 percent. The government of India has planned an increase in healthcare related expenditure from an estimated 1.4 percent of GDP in 2011/2012 to 2.5 percent by 2017. Simultaneously, India's middle class is fueling growth in the healthcare private sector. Increasing awareness and affordability is pushing healthcare providers to attain better quality outcomes and adopt standards to create a unique experience for the patient.
2. How has India managed to use IT in its healthcare services?
If we see, over the years lot of things has changed in India. Transformation is in progress. The Government has proactively spent a lot of money and in response to this, every state has taken initiatives to avail IT services in healthcare sector. However in India complacent systems were not available in the past but today realizing the push and the demand, huge investment is taking place. Private sector is playing a huge role and almost 80 percent of the investment is done by them and it will continue to grow in future. Changes are happening but our total IT spent is not even 1 percent but we can see this growing in future because of a lot of advancements.
3. Do you believe that if an innovative solution works out in India, it can be implemented anywhere across the globe?
Dell's healthcare strategy centers around our fundamental understanding of customers, combined with deep IT domain capabilities across our infrastructure, cloud, application and business processing outsourcing services. If you see the transformation of the global healthcare market, the focus is shifting from care giver to patient. All the solutions are being built keeping the patient in mind for better outcomes, accessibility and affordability. The Indian healthcare industry is mostly driven by private healthcare and largely paid out-of-pocket. In such a scenario, the patient takes center stage which is also a global emerging trend. In our belief, if the solution is affordable, accessible, faster to implement and quick to adopt, it will work anywhere globally.
4. What are the challenges that exist in the Indian ecosystem because of which IT in healthcare has not been able to flourish?
The biggest concern for IT players like us is that healthcare does not consider us an option for solution and innovation. Apart from that, price sensitivity is one of the major barriers. Not only this, there is conflict of opinion among the older generation and younger generation owing to the fact that the younger generation is more aggressively following IT. Applying IT practices in real situation would call for upgrading the knowledge of doctors.
5. Are there any plans to collaborate with the Government of India and change the way healthcare is delivered to the masses?
Dell transforms care by connecting people to the right technology and processes, creating information driven healthcare and accelerating innovation. Dell supports the entire spectrum of care delivery: hospitals, health systems, physician practices, health plans and healthcare supply chain organizations. It's an exciting time for us to be part of the Indian healthcare industry. The Indian government has recently taken a number of great initiatives for the betterment of the healthcare industry. One of these are "EHR standards for Indian healthcare sector" where Dell participated as a member of FICCI committee in the process of finalizing guidelines. We think this is a great step towards the way healthcare will be delivered. We have been evaluating a few opportunities from central and state government bodies to understand their requirements and terms and conditions. We are looking forward to work with government bodies as soon as we complete the evaluation.
6. What future projects does Dell have in the pipeline?
The need of the hour for the current Indian healthcare market is to reduce complexity through integration, creation of a unique patient experience, addressing patient mobility and bringing standardization by adopting seamless automated workflows to ease the pressure on care providers with all around accessibility. As mentioned earlier, currently Dell is committed to bringing business transformation with affordable cutting edge technology to healthcare providers that can help them increase productivity and efficiency. The hospital-in-a-box solution is such an initiative, we just announced, that seamlessly and cost effectively delivers integrated clinical and financial systems for healthcare providers in India. The solution is truly one of a kind in terms of its capabilities, delivery model and pricing. We believe it will be a game changer for the Indian healthcare provider market where hospitals are constrained by huge upfront capital investments, and higher cost of licensing, maintenance and support. We will continue to bring to India unique solutions that will allow healthcare providers to focus on their number one goal -- enhanced patient care. Being global leaders, as rated by Gartner and Everest, we will continue to invest in building our global pipeline.