UK, Germany, France and Spain collectively spend more than $6 billion on healthcare information technology (healthcare IT) while regional adoption stands at almost 80%. Healthcare IT markets in these countries are ready to embark upon the next level of digitalization where providers move from data-capturing solutions to those that can derive value from data through improving information sharing, analytics and clinical decision support.

Spain is leading EMR market growth amongst EU countries, with approximately 90% of healthcare providers having an EMR, 85% of which are engaged in full capture of data. However, less than 15% of hospitals in the country share data outside their network. Majority of the data shared are patient records being shared within the hospital network or with the Ministry of Health. An administrative structure comprising autonomous communities and sites has led to variations in health system regulations, workflows and healthcare IT adoption. Primary care, on the other hand, has experienced a more uniform healthcare IT adoption with almost 95% of providers using digital systems. The €180 million investment under the Digital Agenda will help enhance the state of interoperability across the country, especially amongst ePrescription systems. Between December 2016 and March 2017, Frost & Sullivan conducted a survey of IT managers from 198 hospitals across Western European countries. Findings of the survey were further investigated through in-depth discussions with market vendors and Frost & Sullivan industry thought leaders. Outcomes of the research have been collated into a 4-part series detailing the HCIT landscape across EU4 (The United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain).

Our research found that in spite of a high level of EMR adoption only a little more than 15% of large hospitals share data beyond their organization. This has been a huge detriment to efficient and productive health data utilization across all countries included in this study. However, with changing care paradigms, such as focus on patient-centricity, innovation in care delivery models and the demand for workflow efficiency, improving health data continuity will be a key goal for both governments and providers over the next five years. As a result, interoperability, and standards development and adoption will be major priorities across health systems.

Spain has traditionally been an import market for health technology and medical equipment. Leading market participants include Indra, Cerner and DXC Technology while IBM and Orion Health have a comparatively smaller presence than the three market leaders. Our survey results indicate that future market growth will come from system upgrades rather than investment in new systems or vendors. To promote local digital health vendors the government is initiating start-up incubators and innovation hubs. Several regions in Spain are becoming digital health innovation hubs and this can be validated by the high share of locally developed healthcare IT solutions in the market. For example, Catalonia’s 734 healthcare-related companies attracted over EUR100 million in investment since 2013 and collaborations between start-ups and hospitals are also common. These start-ups will need to demonstrate a high degree of solution differentiation as they are currently playing more like small fish in a big pond.

Chronic disease management and remote monitoring have been identified as strategic directions for health system reform by the government and a number of programs have been launched to support these care delivery models, such as, the strategy for chronic care, policy programme by the regional Ministry of Health and introduction of Complex Care Plan with public-private partnership. There have been several pilot programmes in innovative care models integrating health and social services, such as BSA-Badalona and Catalonia and Etxean Ondo from Basque Country. However, lack of business model scalability is a major impediment to large-scale adoption. eHealth solutions that facilitate self-management and integration of care will be in demand. This is only a sample of insights that you can gain through our research.

Key questions answered in this study include:
• What are the current trends, challenges and drivers for healthcare IT investment? What will be the most promising growth opportunities and key investment areas over the next five years?
• How is health IT adoption evolving?
• What will be the impact and adoption of new technologies? How will these change current industry paradigms and/ or bring in new business models?
• How are the initiatives at national and regional level for eHealth adoption impacting the market?
• What is the current vendor landscape, tiers of competition in select segments (e.g., Total Health IT, EHR, PCIS)? How are they expected to evolve over the next five years?
• What do healthcare providers expect when investing in healthcare IT and how has this evolved over the years?
• What are the key vendor-/solution-selection criteria of providers while investing in health IT?