IT Spending in the Western European Healthcare Sector to Reach $8.8 Billion by 2008, IDC Forecasts

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Total IT spending in hardware, software, and IT services in the Western European healthcare sector will rise from $6 billion to $8.8 billion between 2003 and 2008 (8% CAGR), according to the latest IDC forecasts.

The U.K. NHS plan, the French Hospital 2007 initiative, and newly announced projects in Italy are all driven by central governments and mainly aimed at enhancing performance of public hospitals and outpatient services.

"Healthcare providers will be the fastest growing segment of the public sector and one of the fastest growing verticals in terms of IT spending over the next three to four years in Western Europe," said Massimiliano Claps, senior research analyst with IDC's European Vertical Markets research group.

IDC believes that to support the transformation that will lead to the establishment of fully patient-centric processes, healthcare agencies will invest in:

Electronic patient records and other clinical care management solutions, such as radiology systems, pharmacy systems, and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS)

Back-office administration systems, such as patient accounting systems and ERP

Patient administration systems, such as CRM and ebooking

Information sharing and process integration solutions such as collaborative tools, document and content management systems, application integration tools, security, and mobile solutions.

Public healthcare agencies need to build IT infrastructure or migrate from obsolete technologies to support modern solutions. As a result, in the initial phase of modernization, hardware products will also grow above average.

For more information see, Western Europe, Healthcare Sector, 2003-2008, IT Spending Forecast (IDC #MS05L, May 2004).

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