Is there a contradiction between telemedicine and business?

Filip LIEVENS, Singapore Management University


Is there a contradiction between telemedicine and business? The driving forces in the telemedicine market are: competition within the health-care industry, newly developed cheap information technology (especially the Internet) and 21st-century health-care consumers, with their expectations of free choice and a high level of health-care. The market has four segments (citizens, patients, professionals and employees) and the boundaries between these segments are blurred. The telemedicine market is obviously growing, but it is still unstructured, fractured and disorganized. The telemedicine market needs a meeting place where the status of telemedicine and telecare can be reviewed. This would be a place in which to explore new ways to improve the efficiency of health-care services and a forum in which to draw a roadmap for future developments. One such place is the International Trade Event and Conference for eHealth, Telemedicine and Health ICT, Med-e-Tel. At the 2004 event, there were 32 exhibitors from 23 countries and over 400 industry and medical participants. A survey of participants showed that the event was judged to be a success. There is no conflict between telemedicine and business. On the contrary, telemedicine is a promising area of business development.