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IT Healthcare

Overview

The market for IT in the healthcare sector in Mexico is an emerging market as most health care institutions have recently started the process of identifying technologies that can help them to be more efficient and competitive in the services they offer. Currently, the technologies that are more popular in the sector are those for patient control, electronic file, supplies inventory control, pharmacy inventory and services control, and security systems.

Potential clients for IT in the health care sector are mainly the large hospitals in the public and private sector with resources to purchase sophisticated technologies to automate patient service and administrative and supplies control systems. In the public sector there are 1,169 hospitals of which, 194 are highly specialized medical units. In the private sector, of the 3,140 hospitals, only 80 have over 50 beds and offer highly specialized medicine.  Most of the hospitals offering specialty health care services are located in medium and large Mexican cities. There are also some medium sized private hospitals that offer specialty services and focus on high income, insured patients. These hospitals also represent potential users of IT health care applications.

Based on surveys and market information, the private consulting company Select estimated that in 2011, the Mexican healthcare sector invested approximately US$ 488 millions in IT systems. This market is expected to continue growing, as automating technologies increase in the Mexican healthcare sector.

Information Technology

IT in health care is a growing trend in Mexico, mainly with private hospitals and clinics. Some of the biggest and more recognized hospitals are focusing on implementing the Electronic Health Record, HER (Expediente Clínico Electrónico) as well as other automation and control systems. These hospitals are also evaluating technologies and integrated systems that can provide real-time information and communication with staff and patients.

Depending on the size of the hospital, the average cost to upgrade IT platforms US$10 million. Clinics focus more on productivity and efficiency systems for billing and data transmission.

IMSS (Mexican Institute of Social Security) and ISSSTE (Institute of Social Security and Services for Public Employees) are also upgrading their systems to manage and improve the network of hundreds of clinics, huge medicine inventories, appropriate billing systems and supplier relationships. Other government health care institutions are also seeking improvements in their operations, including greater transparency, efficiency, and effective use of resources.

Best Products/Services

Products and systems that offer opportunities in the market include:

  • Automation hardware and software
  • Billing systems
  • Data protection systems
  • Electronic Health Record (EHR)
  • EPR systems (Enterprise Resource Planning)
  • Green IT-systems to reduce energy consumption
  • Hands-free and wireless communication mobile devices
  • Imaging transferring systems
  • Medical data exchange solutions
  • Mobile devices for medical use
  • Nursing systems
  • Patient tracking systems
  • Real-time database update accessible from multiple devices

Opportunities

Main opportunities are found with the private hospital networks, mainly with the large groups such Grupo Angeles and Star Médica. Other private hospitals are also good targets for innovative communications and automation solutions. Most private hospital groups are developing their 5-year tech innovation plan.

The government sector also provides specific solutions with the public social service and healthcare institutions (IMSS, ISSSTE, and Pemex, State social security and health services). Given the more limited budget in the public sector, these institutions are seeking solutions that can effectively manage their resources such as medicines, clinics, personnel, facilities, and budgets.

Resources

Useful links for public institutions

www.salud.gob.mx

www.imss.gob.mx

www.issste.gob.mx

www.cenetec.salud.gob.mx

For private hospitals

www.grupoempresarialangeles.com

www.starmedica.com.mx

www.hsj.com.mx

www.abchospital.com.mx

www.beneficenciaespanola.com.mx

www.amerimed-hospitals.com

www.christusmuguerza.com.mx

www.medicasur.com.mx

Medical Devices

Mexico imported medical equipment, instruments, disposable and dental products worth US $3.5 billion in 2010. This represented 90 percent of the medical equipment and instrument market and 2 percent of the disposables. Of these imports 57 %, or US$ 2 billion, were of U.S. origin. The main foreign suppliers of medical devices are Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea and UK.

U.S. medical products are highly regarded in Mexico due to their high quality, after sales service, and price point compared to competing products of similar quality. Consequently, U.S. medical equipment and instruments have a competitive advantage and are in high demand in Mexico.

Public health care institutions account for 70 – 80 percent of total medical services provided nationwide while private health care institutions cover approximately 25-30 percent of the Mexican population, including 32 million people with private medical and accident insurance.  In 2007, Mexico had 3,140 accredited private hospitals, of which only 80 had more than 50 beds and the capacity to offer highly specialized services.

Best Products/Services

Best prospects include the following:

  • Anesthesia equipment
  • Defibrillators
  • Electrocardiographs
  • Electroencephalographers
  • Electro surgery equipment
  • Gamma ray equipment
  • Incubators
  • Lasers for surgery
  • MRI equipment
  • Patient monitors
  • Respiratory therapy equipment
  • Suction pumps
  • Ultrasound equipment
  • X ray equipment

Key factors in order to successfully compete are quality, after sales service, warranty and price.

Opportunities & challenges

Most large public and private hospitals are regularly seeking the most modern and highly specialized medical devices. Some medium and small private hospitals with limited budgets buy used or refurbished equipment. However, public hospitals by law, cannot buy used or refurbished products. In order to reduce costs many public and private hospitals are outsourcing parts of their medical treatment services to companies that offer “integral surgery services”. This is delivered as a “pay per event”, which includes all the necessary products required to perform a surgery. As such, hospitals are able to avoid big capital investments in materials, pharmaceuticals, and instruments, and at the same time gain access to some of the most modern specialized surgical equipment.

Most medical and health care products need to be registered with the Mexican Secretariat of Health (SSA) prior to sale or use in Mexico. In addition, foreign medical device manufactures require a legally appointed distributor/representative in Mexico responsible for the product and registration process. Lastly, there can be delays in receiving registration/marketing approvals from COFEPRIS.

Resources

Useful links for public institutions

www.salud.gob.mx

www.imss.gob.mx

www.issste.gob.mx

www.cenetec.salud.gob.mx

For private hospitals

www.grupoempresarialangeles.com

www.starmedica.com.mx

www.hsj.com.mx

www.abchospital.com.mx

www.beneficenciaespanola.com.mx

www.amerimed-hospitals.com

www.christusmuguerza.com.mx

www.medicasur.com.mx

For more information please contact:

Alicia Herrera

Commercial Specialist

Healthcare Services, Medical Devices

U.S. Commercial Service

U.S. Embassy Mexico City

Email: alicia.herrera@trade.gov

Jesus Gonzalez

Commercial Specialist

IT, Telecom, Smart Grid

U.S. Commercial Service

U.S. Embassy Mexico City

Email: jesus.gonzalez@trade.gov