Apple emerges as 'dominant' life sciences IT player

Along with droves of other folks, biopharma execs love their iPads. Apple ($AAPL) is reaping the rewards of the popularity of its technology among life sciences companies, and the company has rapidly eclipsed some of its competitors in a survey that tracks the pulse of tech spending in the industry. 

Apple jumped to No. 2 in both the software and hardware categories in IDC Health Insights' Q1 Indicators in Life Science IT Spending Survey, announced late Monday. When the research firm asked more than 100 top life sciences companies about their plans for buying tech hardware in 2012, more than 30% of respondents expected to purchase Apple products, up 220% since 2009. Apple also moved into second place from fifth place last year in the software category.

The difference-maker for Apple, according to IDC, is the company's iPad tablet that has pioneered a new category of computing device. Drugmakers have equipped sales reps with the iPad to gloss up their pitches to doctors, and, based on this editor's experiences at biopharma conferences, many top execs and industry professionals are toting iPads nowadays. One of Apple's biggest fans in the biotech industry is Art Levinson, the former Genentech CEO who became Apple's non-executive chairman last year after the death of Steve Jobs.      

Yet Apple trailed tech giant Oracle ($ORCL) in the software category and Dell ($DELL) in the hardware category in the IDC survey. After Apple, Cisco ($CSCO), HP ($HPQ), Intel ($INTC), EMC ($EMC) and IBM ($IBM) made the list of top hardware players in life sciences, respectively. Oracle, which sells clinical trials software and other life sciences-specific applications, led the software category with about a quarter of all respondents planning to spend money with the company this year. SAS and SAP ($SAP) were also top contenders in the life sciences software arena, according to IDC.

Accenture ($ACN) was the top provider of IT services in the survey with almost 10% of companies planning to spend money with the firm this year, followed by IBM (9%) and Cognizant ($CTSH) (5%), IDC said. 

- here's the release
- see the report by Investor's Business Daily

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