IDC Health Insights ( has announced the results of the “Q1 Leading Indicators in Life Science IT Spending Survey,” which polled more than 100 leading life science companies on which life sciences hardware, software, and IT services vendors they plan to spend money with during 2012.

Of particular interest, the most notable improvement in hardware came from Apple, moving into second place for the first time, with more than 30% of respondents planning to purchase their hardware from Apple. This jump represents a 220% increase in Apple’s survey score since 2009.

Apple also made huge strides in the software category, catapulting into second place behind Oracle, up from fifth place last year. The new results underscore the notion that the iPad is helping Apple become a dominant player in the life sciences.

Dell maintained its sizeable lead in the hardware category with nearly 45% of life science companies expecting to purchase hardware from Dell over the next 12 months. Dell has held the top spot in this survey for the last five years. Behind Apple, Cisco, HP, Intel, EMC, and IBM round out the rest of the list of vendors with significant mentions in this preferred vendor survey.

Oracle led all software vendors, with more than 25% of respondents planning to spend money with Oracle in 2012. In addition to Apple, SAP, and SAS experienced significant improvements with their survey scores rising nearly 20% year over year.