Telecare Soapbox: When will telehealth companies start generating income?

Jacques von Speyer, CEO of US Tele-Medicine reflects on his recent experience of talking to industry leaders at the ATA conference.

I was at the ATA conference a couple of weeks ago and found a certain commonality; no one is making money right now in telemedicine. Of all the device vendors, both the new ones from Korea, Taiwan, China, Israel, France and Switzerland, to the branded names like Intel, GE, AT&T, Bosch, Honeywell and the others, not one of them has produced an important single flow of income.

The entire industry seems to be waiting for some payor or another to step forward and be the first to implement a national system of sufficient proportions to kick start telemedicine in the USA. One difficulty to achieving that is the fact that US industries and governments are in abeyance until the election, and the prospect of redefining how someone approaches healthcare and its delivery, based on an uncertain economic indicators, is difficult. Entities are comfortable with the status-quo and after all, eventually, everyone seems to be receiving healthcare irrespective of cost or time involved. So where is the incentive to change? It appears that not even the inherent savings appropriated in most telemedicine programs is enough of a motivator to push telemedicine along in the USA.

Basically we are all waiting for the ‘eventuality’ to take place, and it will. The challenge for most, however, is to stick around long enough to benefit from it.

Jacques von Speyer
US Tele-Medicine

Categories: Soapbox.