Demand for integrated health care technology is growing at a faster rate than any other vertical market, according to InfoComm’s 2012 “Market Definition and Strategy Study.”
These top health care market integrators, therefore, are leading at breakneck speed and it will be difficult for other firms to catch up; frankly, it’s a unique market that makes diversification tough.
It’s also a uniquely gratifying market, says Jay Myers, founder and CEO of Interactive Solutions.
His Memphis-based firm began dabbling in telemedicine solutions in 1998, earning $50,000 that year, he recalls, “getting my feet wet” providing “clunky” systems hooked up to echocardiogram equipment. Those early installs struck a chord with Myer. He remembers the look on the parents’ faces as they held their baby in rural Mississippi while talking to a doctor in Memphis.
That gratification drove Myers, and by 2011 Interactive Solutions did about $12 million in telemedicine-related revenue. “It wasn’t overnight success,” he says. “We had to learn what the market needed.”
The health care market does need telemedicine. InfoComm calls it the “fastest growing application” driving the market in its study, which it produced with Acclaro Growth Partners.
Myers anticipates that the insurance “mandate” in the U.S. Affordable Healthcare Act will change the scope of demand for telemedicine.
“Obamacare will open up even more patients across rural areas,” he says. “I think telemedicine will end up being something that will not just happen from 200 miles away but from 20 or 30 miles in metro areas.”
It’s too easy, though, to give too much credit to telemedicine for driving the health care market, cautions Bruce Kaufmann, president and CEO of Maryland-based Human Circuit.
One reason the market is in the midst of “kind of an explosion,” says Jim Hatcher, Human Circuit’s CTO, is an eruption of hospitals and facilities looking to migrate from paper to electronic medical records, also fueled in part by a requirement in the U.S. Affordable Care Act. “Anytime you have a mandate like that there is opportunity.
Integrators can go in and integrate those solutions, but you have some big players in there. Harris [Interactive], for example, with its asset management solution. It’s pretty competitive.”
Digital media’s role in health care facilities is also evolving, says Scott Birdsall, CEO of Oregon-based Compview.
“You’re seeing a lot of doctors adopting signage solutions, video walls, trying to communicate with their clients in a manner that makes an impact and connects with [patients] more.”