Telemedicine market needs dose of patience

May 1, 1998

Telemedicine market needs dose of patienceCompanies participating in the telemedicine market are experiencing all the trials and tribulations that come with being in a developmental-stage market. Still a relatively new and unproven technology,

Telemedicine market needs dose of patience

Companies participating in the telemedicine market are experiencing all the trials and tribulations that come with being in a developmental-stage market. Still a relatively new and unproven technology, telemedicine faces obstacles in gaining a foothold in the market, due in no small part to the relative paucity of strong cost-benefit models.

In some respects, the state of the telemedicine market mirrors the PACS market of a few years ago. For the most part, the technology was ready for routine clinical use, but the business models and cost-justification weren't immediately apparent to prospective customers. The PACS market didn't really take off until market conditions, such as managed care and hospital consolidation, led hospitals and imaging centers to turn to PACS technology for productivity and efficiency improvements.

Until both the clinical and financial benefits of telemedicine are routinely accepted, widespread implementation of telemedicine will likely prove elusive.

On another note, this issue marks the first anniversary of PACS & Networking News. To commemorate the occasion, we've put together an overview of the current state of the PACS market, a business that finally appears to be hitting its stride. We hope that we've done a good job keeping you up to date on developments in the PACS and telemedicine markets, and we will do our best in the future to continue the kind of coverage you've come to expect. As always, please e-mail to me (eridley@mfi.com) any comments or suggestions you might have.

-Erik L. Ridley, Editor