eHealth in Poland — an area worth investing in
Sooner or later, the Polish health service will have to face the necessity of implementing electronic documentation systems. The universal digitization of medical centers will open up a lot of opportunities for companies offering these types of tools. What solutions will be most in demand? What areas of the market should investors pay special attention to?
According to the Ministry of Health regulations, electronic medical records have to be introduced by mid-2017, so there is very little time left for the required implementations. Doctors have less than two years to make substantial changes in their offices. As a report titled “Survey of Doctors’ Attitudes and Opinions” shows, there is a high general awareness of the need to introduce electronic documentation. The main barriers to implementation, however, are the high costs of the software (indicated by 56% of the surveyed doctors) and the high prices of the equipment (half of the respondents). Potential customers also fear the need of additional training for medical staff.
Market segmentation as a way to fight the competition
The solutions created by the largest software companies, such as Mednote by Comarch, Assecom Medica PS or Serum from Kamsoft, were created for all individual medical practices. These universal solutions, however, have the typical drawbacks of universal solutions — they are not tailored to the needs of individual medical specializations and do not meet the expectations of all customers. This is an opportunity for companies willing to invest in Polish eHealth — the creation of dedicated software for a specific segment.
Which segment to choose? The numbers speak for themselves
Doctors are an enormously diverse occupational group. Currently in Poland there are more than 128,000 physicians, of which more than 66% have one of as many as 81 specializations. In terms of investment, dentists are the most interesting group — there more than 35,000 dentists with very little diversification, as less than 18% of dentists have a specialization. At the same time, private dentistry is one of the most developed areas of health services in Poland. As many as 13,000 dentists work in individual medical practices. There is also a much greater awareness of the requirement of the introduction of electronic medical records in that group — as many as two-thirds of dentists are aware of the obligatory software investments. All data clearly confirm that dentistry is the best choice for investment.
The SaaS model eliminates financial barriers
Dentists working in small practices need a tool that will not only suit their needs, but will also be economically efficient to buy and run. What can the market offer right now? We can distinguish two principal types of available solutions: software for large dental clinics, created using client-server architecture, and universal software for all individual medical practices available in a SaaS model. Neither of these solutions are tailored to the individual needs of medical practices conducted by dentists. The first type requires significant initial investments (purchasing a server as well as the software license) and commitment during operation (a constant need to update the infrastructure yourself). For a small dental practice this is simply too costly. The SaaS model, at least at first glance, seems to be the ideal choice for small medical practices, but currently none of the available solutions takes into account the specific nature of dentistry.
So what’s next?
This is where a niche emerges, which guarantees a high return on investment if it is quickly utilized. Currently, dentists selecting an application to handle electronic medical records are facing a dilemma: to choose expensive software using client-server architecture tailored to their needs, or inexpensive, universal software for doctors, which does not fully satisfy the specific requirements of the profession?
If a SaaS application that is both tailored to the needs of dentists and cheap to buy and operate appears on the market, the dilemma will disappear. The company that is the first to create such a solution is going to gain a competitive advantage and a great opportunity to dominate this very lucrative area of the eHealth market in Poland.
How we can help you
At Sensinum, the main area of our expertise is the creation of web applications and software in a SaaS model. We have already delivered many solutions for startups, small businesses, local government units and the health service. We focus on providing high quality products that meet the business requirements of our partners. If you are interested in investing in eHealth or any other web applications, please contact us — we will gladly present our offer over a brief conversation.
Originally published at sensinum.com.