India healthcare IT spending to hit $1.05B

Country's healthcare providers will spend 57 billion rupees on IT products and services this year, with the salaries of internal IT staff expected to see the highest growth among spending categories.

India's healthcare providers are projected to spend 57 billion rupees (US$1.05 billion) on IT products and services in 2013, with the highest growth in expenditure to go toward the salaries of IT staff. 

Spending on internal IT staff will see the highest growth.

In a statement Thursday, research firm Gartner reported that healthcare providers in the country will increase their IT spend by 7 percent this year from 53 billion rupees (US$977.6 million) in 2012. The spending includes products and services such as internal IT staff, hardware, software, external IT services, and telecommunications.

Spending on internal IT staff will see the highest growth at 18 percent,  compared with other categories. Spending on external IT services will rank second-highest at 9.7 percent to reach 14.5 billion rupees (US$267.5 million), up from 13.2 billion rupees (US$243.5 million) in 2012, driven by growth in process management and consulting.

Spending on telecommunications, which includes networking equipment and services, will remain the largest overall spending category. The segment will grow 3.9 percent to reach 17.2 billion rupees (US$317.3 million), up from 16.6 billion rupees in 2012, with most growth coming from enterprise communication equipment.

Anurag Gupta, research director at Gartner, noted in the statement: "Rising demand from the growing middle-class  in India's large cities is fueling growth in private-sector healthcare. Large national and state government programs will spur growth along the primary and secondary care sector and public health domain."

A ZDNet Asia report in October 2012 said companies in India were driving innovation in healthcare to bring more affordable medical equipment, telemedicine consultations, and surgery to the masses.