Healthcare information technology (IT) is information technology applied to the healthcare industry. It provides better management capabilities across computerized systems and enables secure exchange of information among patients, healthcare providers, quality monitors, and insurers.
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Healthcare IT finds applications in hospitals, pharmacies, diagnostic and imaging centers, ambulatory care centers, and others. Various healthcare IT applications are used to improve healthcare effectiveness and productivity, reduce healthcare costs, and prevent medical errors. For instance, software solutions such as hospital information systems, ambulatory care management systems, e-prescribing systems, patient management systems, and health record (EHR) systems are widely accepted by hospitals and clinics.
Advanced Diagnostic and Imaging to Facilitate Information Exchange
Healthcare IT plays a vital role in several aspects of the diagnostic process by capturing patient information, including results from physical examination, diagnostic testing, and imaging. Many applications also help in decision-making during the diagnostic process and streamlining information exchange. For instance, OKI Europe Ltd. developed a new software solution called DICOM RIP Pro software, which can be integrated with its multifunction printer called ES9476 MFP. Hospitals and clinics can use this software for storing medical images in the form of a color booklet, which can be obtained through MRI, X-ray, CT scans, or ultrasound results. Color booklets can clearly show the progress of treatment.
According to a report available on Radiant Insights, Inc., the worldwide healthcare information technology (IT) market is likely to show substantial growth over the forecast period (2017 to 2022). Major factors such as growing attention on improving quality of care and clinical results, increasing need to decrease healthcare costs and minimize errors in medical services, and government support for healthcare IT solutions can drive the market.
The United States is one of the largest market due to favorable government policies and availability of established infrastructure. However, Southeast Asia is expected to grow at a rapid pace over the forecast period due to presence of top IT companies and rising awareness among consumers.
Some of the leading companies operating in the market are 3M Health Information Systems, Lexmark Healthcare, Conifer Health Solutions, and CSI Healthcare.