Healthcare providers in the Middle East & Africa will spend US $2.8 billion on IT products and services in 2014, an increase of 2.8 percent over 2013 revenues, according to Gartner, Inc. This forecast includes spending by healthcare providers (includes hospitals and hospital systems, as well as ambulatory service and physicians' practices) on internal IT (including personnel), hardware, software, external IT services and telecommunications.

Telecom services, which includes fixed and mobile telecom services, will remain the largest overall spending category throughout the forecast period within the healthcare providers sector. It is expected to grow 2 percent in 2013 to reach US $1.3 billion in 2014.

Software will achieve a growth rate of 10 percent in 2013 to reach US $384 million in 2014. Internal services will grow 8.6 percent in 2013 to reach US $490 million in 2014. Internal services refer to salaries and benefits paid to the information services staff of an organization. The information services staff includes all company employees that plan, develop, implement and maintain information systems. IT services will grow 7.6 percent in 2014 to reach US $314 million, up from US $299 million in 2013, led by growth in business process outsourcing (BPO) and software support.

“Growing private healthcare infrastructure and government investments is driving higher adoption of technology,” said Anurag Gupta, research director at Gartner . “Saudi Arabia, GCC’s biggest economy, will continue its focus on building healthcare infrastructure along both primary care, secondary hospital segment, preventive and diagnostic care to support the affluent population. We expect a corresponding uptick in investment in healthcare technology. UAE is expected to enhance the focus on building patient databases, mobile health, and preventive healthcare. Turkey has been supportive of private healthcare investment and a growing role of public private partnerships in the healthcare sector will derive growth in the country.”