IDC: China Healthcare IT Faces Choice between Traditional and Emerging Solutions


Jul 21, 2015

Beijing, July 20 2015 – Emerging IT technologies and steady advances in healthcare reform are two critical driving forces of healthcare IT development. Emerging IT technologies like mobile Internet, cloud computing and big data generate new healthcare application systems, requiring integration with traditional systems like HIS (health information systems) and EMR (electronic medical records). In the meantime, the traditional healthcare IT systems need to be upgraded and tremendous obstacles must be surmounted to integrate with newer systems.

According to Leon Xiao, Senior Research Manager of IDC China’s healthcare research, “Building up the new-generation healthcare IT systems integrating the traditional and emerging systems has become a critical issue for health institutions and a prominent trend in healthcare IT development. These systems will eventually become a hospital’s core assets, connecting patients with family doctors, community clinics and healthcare institutions.”

In the latest IDC report “China Healthcare IT Solution 2015-2019 Forecast and Analysis”, China’s market of healthcare IT solutions (which includes software and services, not overall IT spending) was worth USD 787 million in 2014, up 24.0% from 2013. IDC’s forecast on the market size from 2015 to 2019 is shown in the chart below:

Chart: China Healthcare IT Solution Market, 2013-2019 Description: Source: IDC “China Healthcare IT Solution 2015-2019 Forecast and Analysis” Tags: Author: IDC charts powered by iCharts

Traditional healthcare IT solution systems like HIS, EMR, PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems)and LIS (Laboratory Information System) are poorly integrated with each other, creating a great trouble in system maintenance. Their role in facilitating clinical diagnosis, decision making and clinical research are inadequate. Except in rare cases, their potential in further enhancing a hospital’s operating efficiency and staff’s professional skills are limited. The adoption of emerging technologies and their effective integration with traditional IT systems will support better healthcare decisions and health management services. If done correctly, these integrated systems will gradually become one of the hospital’s core assets.

Healthcare regulators in China are keenly aware of the important role that emerging technologies will play in achieving the goals of healthcare reform. According to the National Plan for Medical and Healthcare Service System (2015-2020), the Internet of things (IoT) and other emerging information technologies should be used to improve medical services. These policies will expedite development of healthcare IT and accelerate investments in the healthcare sector in the coming years.

In order to promote IoT application in the healthcare industry, IDC China will host the 2015 China Healthcare IoT Roundtable Summit in September 2015. The summit, themed “Building healthcare IoT to generate innovations in medical and health service”, will invite professional users of IoT, including hospital presidents, medical department heads and IT directors, as well as representatives from health authorities and health management institutions, to engage in intensive discussions about the characteristics of healthcare IoT, user demands, challenges and solutions. The event also intends to envisage the trend of IoT application and provide the outcomes as a reference to hospital administrators and solutions developers.

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