The global healthcare industry generates billions of dollars in revenue. Now, thanks to a new method of exchanging medical information, known as telemedicine, value-added resellers have an opportunity to break into the healthcare market – while also helping doctors and patients across the country better communicate.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is the practice of exchanging medical information from one site to another via electronic communications, according to the American Telemedicine Association. Telemedicine uses a wide variety of applications and devices, including two-way audio and video, email, smart phones and wireless tools, to connect patients with doctors and doctors with students, educators and colleagues from around the world. The goal is to increase the opportunities for seamless communication and, in the end, to improve patient health around the world.
Telemedicine benefits millions of people each year, and the number of telemedicine networks and service sites is steadily growing. With this market segment expected to continually expand, now is the perfect time to ramp up your efforts at gaining additional telemedicine business. In fact, Time Warner Cable Business Services, among other companies, is looking into providing home-based videoconferencing systems for recently-released healthcare patients. So for VARs, time is of the essence.
Capturing Telemedicine Business
There are a number of ways to grow your telemedicine business. Consider these tactics:
Make sure your company is prominently listed in any online directory of telemedicine providers. For example, the American Telemedicine Association has its own Product and Service Directory and the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth has a well-used member directory.
Get vocal on social media
Establish your company as a thought leader on the topic of telemedicine. Post news and opinion pieces regularly to your company blog, Facebook page and Twitter stream. News and innovation around telemedicine moves quickly, so you’ll have plenty of material from which to draw.
Market to university medical programs
The education side of telemedicine is an enormous component of the field, both for medical students and for doctors and nurses taking continuing education courses. Offer your services to university medical programs to open up a wealth of opportunities. If you’ve already done digital signage or proAV work at a particular school, you might have your foot in the door already.
Attend a healthcare tradeshow
Once you have some experience with telemedicine, branch out and network with members of the healthcare community at an industry tradeshow. Find one near you that will attract hospital and university officials and doctors with a private practice. The American Telemedicine Association even has its own tradeshow, which is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the technology. ATA 2014 will be held in May in Baltimore.
Partner with a healthcare NGO
Research non-governmental organizations that provide services to remote areas, both in the U.S. and abroad. They may be interested in incorporating telemedicine video conferencing into their operations to provide medical services to people who cannot physically make it to a doctor’s office.
Where have you found the most success with your telemedicine offering? Do you find that more end users are becoming more familiar with telemedicine, or is it still a relatively unknown technology in your area?