I was in Birmingham yesterday, to join Healthcare Interoperability 2008. I can not say that is was as rich as I had expected, but still it hosted some interesting stands.
EMIS and their partners were the star of the event, and I guess from a business perspective the message was obvious there: primary care is a very good market for healthcare informatics.
I guess it allows you to build controllable products and services. Controllable in the sense that the medical domain requirements you have to handle are much smaller compared to ones in a secondary care institution, and also administrative and financial side of things is again tiny compared to hospital information systems. EMIS certainly knows how to tap into this domain, and their approach to business partners is encouraging. PAERS and EMIS together produce solutions which can take some burden off the shoulders of GP offices. I have to say EMIS people have been very helpful, and they made sure that any questions are answered.
There were some other interesting stands, with some quite specific solutions. I think in terms of healthcare IT, targeting a well differentiated market has huge benefits to offer. You can find a layer that is fit for your resources and you can move between different scales as a vendor. That is what is missing in some other markets, like Turkey. Being able to produce “to the point” products is a very good option to get into the market, and this model needs to be encouraged. Needless to say, without an established system in primary care, you can not do much.