TELEMEDICINE 2.0 Telemedicine was a revolution when it came to reality. It certainly has added a strong value by bringing: 1. Healthcare to remote locations. 2. Healthcare to immobile patients at home. 3. Reduced isolation: Telemedicine provides a peer and specialist contact for patient consultations and continuing education. For consultations between colleagues and between patients and physicians, it has been found that color, full motion video is critical as it creates a simulated face-to-face communication where verbal and visual communication plays an important role.

What is notable here is that there is no quantum mass (user-base) in this business.
I would like to invite your thoughts on why this model could not be scaled up and why it wasn't a major hit with huge potential user base. Here are my observations: Some of the biggest challenges: 1. From an investor point of view: The viability of the business is questionable. There is a lack of high returns even after several years. 2. Its location specific (Device/equipment immobility) : A physician and patient has to go to telemedicine center. This also brings down patient attendance, unless there is urgency. Follow up attendance is still poorer. 3. Scalability is a challenge. It demands capital investment for each location. Interpretations to above challenges are: 1. ROI is not attractive and it may take much longer to realize any profits. 2. Its hospital/institution driven. 3. Scalability is a bigger challenge as it involves continued investment for slow and Unpredictable ROI. The asset infrastructure is a major hurdle for scalability. Success of any thing to do with consumer is often driven by consumers. 1. I think that success of telemedicine would be achieved by 2. Enabling the consumer to free them from this entire process and 3. Bring the healthcare to real-time management. This will enable consumers to drive it (Usage and promotion-Word of mouth). Enabling consumer would also mean converging technologies and offering it as a simple tool at user interface that would reside on desktops or mobile phones. This could possibly be called telemedicine 2.0 Telemedicine as a field may no more be a stand alone business model. It would possibly merge into something that is officially called as "e-health"

Here is an example of how telemedicine 2.0 is shaping up and how users are engaged with it. Medapps ( has come out with a product that allows chronically ill patients to be mobile and focus on their lifestyle. The small device that stays with patient relays continuous information through blue tooth to a mobile phone device. The mobile phone acts as hub between patient and service providers through a central server. This continuous data transfer enables real-time monitoring. Whenever an unwanted trend is noted, the device depending on the seriousness takes an action. In case of nonthreatening but alarming condition, the device has predefined auto voice prompts. In case of perceived threatening situation, the monitoring, interaction with service providers happens just on time. Here is another usage of telemedicine 2.0 Quebec-based Myca already has launched MyFoodPhone, which lets users snap photos of their daily meals and send them to the company's nutritional analysts. subscribers get biweekly videos via e-mail offering personalized dietary suggestions based on their phone snapshots. Doctorphone and Babyphone, both still in development, are more ambitious. Both will let subscribers conference with Myca's network of freelance nurses and doctors. Heart rate and temperature data can be transmitted to a patient's electronic medical-record file, and doctor-patient conversations are archived for future reference. The message here is that while telemedicine 1.0 may still live in patches (as support function of hospitals tapping patients from remote locations), but the quantum mass would be driven by consumers as they get to gain the most through proactive engagement. This is how the stake holders of the ecosystem would benefit: Patients: 1. Telemedicine2.0 would free patients from any binding to telemedicine centers. It would relieve the patient from maintaining medication compliance schedule. 2. Reduced costs (no more traveling and traveling time to telemedicine center) 3. Improved qualitative healthcare in real-time. 4. Low cost of device acquisition. The communication channel-"Mobile phone" penetration is anyway high in all parts of the world.

Service providers: 1. No dependency on building continuous infrastructures. Just Focus on subscription base. 2. Excellent scalability. Its independent of heavy machines and infrastructure. 3. Focus on evolving better healthcare. 4. Be rewarded for their efforts as the patient compliance is any day higher in this model. Investor's perspective: 1. Clear revenue model: Subscription base 2. Scalability scope fortifies this business model. 3. Capital investment is defined and is not dependent on user base unlike telemedicine 1.0 (In this each location would demand a telemedicine center for the users.) 4. This model would also be free from hospitals. Hence a great model worth investing where there are monitoring centers with physicians employed and on other end it's the patients with portable devices connected to mobile phones. Marketing Perspective: 1. Since there is a tangible value add to patient's life style-The patient would be motivated to promote it via word of mouth. 2. The working executives would find a real value to this solution. 3. The medical insurance companies would attest this solution as continuous management would also reduce hospitalization incidence-In turn it reduces the claim ratio. 4. It will be a great service to be promoted to lifestyle disease patients. Physicians and hospitals would love to push this solution as it also would help patient achieve medication compliance (A major challenge in current scenario)

**** IMAGINE THIS: TELEMEDICINE 2.1 This may be going beyond current realities, but check out ipill from philips. Imagine , if telemedicine 2.0 is integrated to ipill. This would open doors to absolute new arena of remote medical care. IPILL LINK:

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