UK healthcare IT spending will continue to rise over the coming years, despite the budgetary and freedom-of-movement issues Brexit may throw up, according to IDC.
Annual UK growth will reach around 2.3 per cent between 2016 and 2021, the market watcher said, as it predicted that the wider Western European healthcare IT market will swell from $12.9bn to $14.1bn over the five-year period. Hospitals will make up 62 per cent of the total.
"Expectations for growth of healthcare providers' IT spending for 2018 are overall positive," said Silvia Piai, EMEA senior research manager, IDC Health Insights.
"We expect the nascent interest in value-based healthcare (VBHC) to drive transformation initiatives across Europe."
Turning specifically to the UK, which remains the biggest market, growth rates will be slightly behind the overall market "due to uncertainties over government budget adjustments after the Brexit agreement and the possible impact on limitation of freedom of movement on the NHS workforce", IDC said.
The German market will see spending surge by 3.5 per cent. A return to stable growth of around 1.4 per cent in Italy will be driven by regional initiatives around patient services modernisations and regional electronic health record (EHR) platforms, IDC added.
Software will provide a growth hotspot, with spending surging 4.9 per cent annually, compared with 1.6 per cent for IT services, IDC predicted. Hardware spending, in contrast, will wilt -0.9 per cent annually, it added.
Governments may be reining in costs, but public healthcare spending across the region will still jump by 2.0 per cent annually, topping the 1.6 per cent rise the private sector will witness, the research house concluded.
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