Technology deeply influences each and every sphere of human existence in the present era. Infact it is gradually being ingrained into the issues that concern human existence on this planet. Health among all is the most significant and crucial element for the survival of human race. With the rapid penetration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in hospitals and healthcare infrastructure across the globe, it is indeed needed that evaluation of health infrastructure from this perspective is not missed out by any chance in the Indian context. This is possible through technology.
With this objective in mind we have done the ‘Health CIO Outlook Survey 2010’ to bring to the fore a comprehensive coverage of the extent of ICT usage in healthcare industry in India. The aim is to highlight various aspects of ICT integration in hospitals to draw the attention of technology providers and the users in the domain. The parametres employed in the study pertains to IT strategy, technology roadmap, purchasing trends, evaluation priorities and a host of related aspects that concern the modern healthcare industry.
The trend across hospitals showed that IT implementation is needed to bring long-term benefits to the business. The survey also delineated that most hospitals prefer vendors who can provide end-to-end technology solutions to the hospitals covering every aspect of their functioning. As regards software, most hospitals have gone for customized as well as COTS software which are interoperable with IT solutions deployed in other affiliated/ partner hospitals. ICD, IHE, SNOMED, HL7 and DICOM are some of the preferred standardisation protocols across hospitals. The survey result has some broad underlying indicators for both the users and providers of technology and gives them a direction for right approach.
This issue also highlights some of the emerging technological developments in healthcare diagnosis and treatment. New dimensions in ultrasound scanning are evident which has enabled the decade old imaging technology to go beyond the confines of radiology and being increasingly used by non-radiologists for diagnostic purposes in a variety of clinical settings. Advanced ultrasound is possible through development of sophisticated software and novel analytical methods to interpret data.
Many other technological revelations in health industry are taking place. A few of them have been captured in this issue. For instance, ‘Virtual Touch’ – a new ultrasound based technology from Siemens for screening, diagnosis and therapeutic clinical applications using measurement of relative tissue elasticity in response to acoustic radiation pressures. Also, find out more about the ‘Biosense Programme’ for providing real-time information on disease detection, monitoring and health situational awareness.