Pressure on in Europe for more HIT investment

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Political pressure and public demand are forcing European government and regulatory authorities to put more money into healthcare information technology.

According to analysis from Frost & Sullivan, the European hospital information systems (HIS) market is poised to reach $4.26 billion in revenues by 2015, compared with $3.4 billion the market earned in 2008.

Yet, according to Frost & Sullivan, even with the increasing amount of money going into health information systems, the market’s growth rate is low because its penetration rate has almost reached its saturation level. For example, Frost & Sullivan found that the adoption of HIS products in Europe in 2008 varied from about 73 percent in Italy and Spain, to 95 percent in Scandinavia.

“Currently, annual maintenance and replacement systems are the main sources of revenues for the vendors,” according to Frost & Sullivan. “Future revenues will also mainly depend on the recurring revenues from annual support and maintenance and replacement systems. The challenge lies in the lack of adequate adaptable and flexible systems, leading to complex system architecture, reducing the utilization rates of HIS among hospital staff.”

Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst S. Priyan said that because the workflow environment in hospitals are complex and data workflow extends across departments, sectors and regions, “it is vital for the systems to be highly flexible and adaptable and encompass powerful, effective and user-friendly tools to support the end users.”