Anticipating these opportunities it appears some Indian IT companies had started gearing up even while the Bill was being debated. For instance Wipro Technologies, another major Indian IT company, claims that besides EHR, it has already started working on related IT applications to provide remote managed services, interoperability testing, digitization of medical records, and integration of EHR and public health records.c/o International Beat, Indrajit Basu
The passage of Obama's healthcare reforms Bill, which aims to ensure millions -- 32 million according to Congressional Budget Office estimate -- uninsured Americans get medical coverage may be US's most sweeping health-care legislation in four decades. But while it rewrites the rules governing the world's largest medical industry, America's healthcare sector predicts that it will have to struggle to overhaul its IT systems in order to be ready for the ensuing healthcare reforms.
What's more; while US's healthcare IT is gearing up for a long-drawn mission to tackle extensive and expensive solutions, the Indian IT sector is looking forward to a multibillion-dollar opportunity from the legislation, which is "historic" according to many.
The bill that expands coverage to Americans who were so far been unable to afford medical insurance, is expected to bring in major changes in the medical insurance sector forcing them to overhaul their systems.
The sector would have to throw money, people and technology in order to prepare for the changes, say sources. "Consequently, a huge opportunity has opened up for the Indian IT outsourcing sector that already plays a significant role providing IT services to the US healthcare industry," says a spokesperson of Infosys Technologies, the Nasdaq-listed Indian IT company, which is one of the largest IT outsourcing service provider.
India's money-spinning IT outsourcing sector that earns close to $40 billion a year in providing IT outsourcing service to the US, reckons that Obama's plan would need at least $20 billion to be spent of healthcare IT alone. Most of this money is expected to be spent of creating Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for all Americans by 2014.
Traditionally the American healthcare IT has been relatively slow in adopting technology, which has often come as a problem in upgrading its healthcare systems. But the new Bill would require a lot of automation in the healthcare system which means that the sector would have to integrate systems and create cutting edge technology-driven healthcare applications.
It would also require solutions to assist the US healthcare industry to prevent leakages and reduce costs and waste.
"That means trickling down of opportunities to Indian IT companies in the form of long-term partnerships with the US healthcare industry," said another industry source.
Anticipating these opportunities it appears some Indian IT companies had started gearing up even while the Bill was being debated. For instance Wipro Technologies, another major Indian IT company, claims that besides EHR, it has already started working on related IT applications to provide remote managed services, interoperability testing, digitization of medical records, and integration of EHR and public health records.
Besides, a significant amount of business is anticipated from enrollments, claims processing and providing customer services with technology and tools.
The Bill is indeed set to change the face of healthcare delivery in the US. Besides focusing on extending healthcare to American citizens, it also aims at streamlining the entire administrative system to drastically cut the nation's healthcare cost.
Thus, services such as finance and accounting, research and analytics will be high in demand as well since these too help in reducing cost and increase efficiency, say experts.