IT spending in Western European healthcare sector to exceed $10 billion in 2009, says IDC

MILAN, ITALY – December 16, 2005 – According to a new study by IDC, IT spending in the Western European healthcare sector is expected to grow from $7.8 billion in 2005 to more than $10 billion in 2009, with average growth of 6.7%.

"Healthcare providers are expected to invest more and more heavily in modern information technologies to comply with the need to improve services while controlling expenditure," said Massimiliano Claps, program manager for IDC's European Vertical Markets. "These investments will translate into a growth of IT spending to more than $10 billion on an annual basis by 2009 in Western Europe. Companies that want to get a piece of this relatively small but burgeoning market must partner with each other to satisfy complex needs, take advantage of back-office rationalization, and aggressively look for outsourcing opportunities."

Integrated patient information will be key to improving care outcome. The design and deployment of integrated electronic health records, at the regional or national level, will give healthcare professionals the clinical decision support tools that enable them to avoid mistakes when prescribing a drug, a test, or surgery. This will have a positive impact on patient safety and satisfaction and also on costs, as it will slash expenditure connected to longer hospitalization, duplication of tests, and litigation.

Hardware, software, IT services, and telecom services vendors must create consortiums to support the creation of national electronic health records.

Those projects will require a combination of new infrastructure, broadband communication, and industry-specific applications, and application development tools that favor integration and industry-specific knowledge in the design and implementation of the solutions.

The study, Western Europe, Healthcare Sector, IT Spending Update, 2004-2009 (Doc #MS55M, November 2005), provides an overview of IT spending trends and forecasts in the Western European healthcare sector. On the qualitative side the study analyzes IT adoption trends in the sector and describes major drivers and inhibitors of IT adoption. On the quantitative side, the focus is on spending in hardware, packaged software, and IT services for the major European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K.) in the 2004-2009 timeframe. IT spending is provided for two sub-industries: private healthcare providers and public healthcare providers.

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