The Best Opportunities for VARs

By Leah Gabriel Nurik  |  Print this article Print

VARs stalling entry or trying to expand their presence in the healthcare IT sector had better get moving if they want to cash in sooner rather than later. A new report from Compass Intelligence forecasts that in 2010 alone upwards of $73.1 billion will be spent on IT solutions in the healthcare market.

According to Wes Rishel, Gartner’s vice president and distinguished analyst for the healthcare sector, the best VAR opportunities include secure networking, diagnostic imaging, analytics and data warehousing and analytics products.

When eyeing the space and your strategy, don’t forget the importance of healthcare mobility applications. There are hundreds of potential healthcare mobile applications that can be run over WiFi networks or over public and private wide area networks (WAN). Think dosing applications that include bar code scanning of dosage cups and ID bracelets, home care applications for nurses as well as tablets with patient records.  Competitive Intelligence says in 2010 $705.8 million will be spent on mobile applications in the health care space.

If you’re getting into the space with custom-built applications or reselling supporting EMR technologies, be sure you have the expertise around the federal standards that have been set. Back in January, the government released a new set of standards and definitions around Electronic Medical Records  which provides a pretty clear footprint of what VARs need to adhere to in order to meet the requirements set forth by the Obama administration.

Some VARs are already having substantial success in the healthcare space. Dimension Data, for example, has a large healthcare practice that instead of focusing on deploying EMR solutions, focuses on supporting infrastructure solutions, like unified communications and VoIP, to support the move, including Cooper University Hospital.

Distributors are helping to educate, too.  Avnet sees the healthcare market as a critical and strategic piece of its VAR ecosystem, and expanded its offerings to VARs at the end of last year.  Through Avnet’s HealthPath practice, the distributor provides educational training and resources as well as access to technology suppliers that focus on the healthcare market.