MED dials into telemedicine

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

LUBBOCK, Texas - The parties involved in a new telemedicine equipment distribution agreement are heralding it as a touchstone moment for the HME industry. Representatives from Lubbock, Texas-based MED Group and Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Cybernet Medical confirmed their partnership at Medtrade in September.
Under the new pact, MED Group members will have the opportunity to become sales and distribution agents for Cybernet's new MedStar telemonitoring device. Cybernet fashioned MedStar after its NASA monitor that measures an astronaut's vital signs. Under terms of the agreement, MED members have exclusive access to the equipment and will receive discounted pricing on each unit they buy.
Because the concept of HME providers distributing telemedicine equipment is so new, no one is predicting how many members may take advantage of the opportunity. Still, MED CEO Bill Elliott believes that providers should take a detailed look at telemedicine as a potential business segment.
"I wouldn't be so bold as to say that all our members will take advantage of it, but we will be strongly encouraging them to do so," he said. "This represents a new revenue source, a chance for business diversification."
Cybernet Product Manager Eric Lichtenstein said company officials are excited to find a new healthcare channel and expressed confidence that HME providers are the perfect conduits for their product.
"They have the infrastructure, the contacts and the patients," he said. "There is no one better to handle our equipment."
Technology proponent Schuyler Hoss credited MED for taking a brave step forward.
"I applaud them for having the foresight to see the potential of this market," he said.