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The Indian healthcare industry is vastly different from the organized and regulated scenario witnessed in developed nations. The lack of regulatory mandates and government focus on healthcare means hospitals are often slow to adopt technology. Another key difference is that private healthcare providers account for the major portion of the revenue generated from healthcare. Moreover, hospitals have customized IT requirements, and as a result vendors cannot afford to market one standard solution to all enterprises. Indian healthcare IT budgets are lower than their western counterparts, which means vendors cannot replicate the business model practiced in countries such as the US. These barriers make India one of the toughest markets for vendors to enter, although the potential for future growth is huge. Dell Healthcare Services is addressing these pain points with a public cloud-based solution that will support digital transformation for hospital chains at an affordable cost. The vendor is leveraging its horizontal solutions to integrate disparate functionalities and aims to be a one-stop solution provider for chains looking for cost-efficient solutions. These initiatives will help Dell compete with established players with successful telehealth deployments in India, such as HP.

Dell focuses on ROI, affordability, and scalability to improve health IT adoption in India

Regulatory mandates for IT adoption in developed nations bring pros and cons; rushed and poorly executed IT deployments can actually hinder care delivery rather than improve it. In India, necessity has always been the driving factor for IT adoption, and this should continue to be the case to derive real value from IT investments. Dell's recent analyst event in India showcased the vendor's focus on developing practical, affordable, and flexible solutions that can provide proof of ROI and scalability. By launching a public cloud-based IT system, Dell provides a software-as-a-service- (SaaS-) based managed service for Indian hospital chains to benefit from digital transformation and higher operational efficiency. The IT solution will include clinical, enterprise resource planning (ERP), administrative, and financial functions.

The key differentiator is that Dell has designed this offering in a modular and scalable way, allowing hospitals to spread IT implementations across multiple phases and budget cycles. The other important aspect is that Dell is leveraging its horizontal solutions – such as Dell Boomi – to integrate different modules, which will remove the complexity and ambiguity involved in partnerships. Moreover, Dell's acquisition of EMC will enable the vendor to add cloud computing and analytics functionalities to its healthcare offering in India. The first deployment of this offering is already underway with Dr. Agarwal's Eye Hospital, one of the major specialty eye care hospital chains, which has more than 50 centers in India. It is good news that Dell is not trying to replicate its US business model, although success depends on various factors, including effective execution and the vendor's ability to provide tailor-made solutions to meet the requirements of hospitals in India.


Further reading

"Dell needs to define the value of Services in EMC merger," IT0019-003501 (October 2015)

"Dell-EMC deal creates sixth mega-vendor," IT0019-003502 (October 2015)


Srikanth Venkataraman, Analyst, Healthcare Technology

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