is CEO and President of MedOrder, Inc., Seattle, WA. He is also a
General Partner in Mi3 Venture Capital and a member ofthe
Editorial Board of this journal.
Recently, I read a series of articles about company "A" making
outrageous claims about its new product specifications. This series
was immediately followed by articles from their competitors,
company "B" and company "C," claiming that they had the same
product specifications some time before.
The argument between companies A, B, and C is not what caught my
attention. Company arguments often make for entertaining reading.
What disturbed me was that the
were not discussed in any of the articles.
As a field, radiology must work to avoid that all-too-common
oversight in our business practices. In the early days of a new
imaging modality, before the clinical capabilities have
demonstrated themselves, the technical specifications are often
used to gain attention. With growth or mature products I would
expect that the only important parameter is how the technology
meets the actual needs of the customers (including hospitals,
radiology departments, radiologists, technicians, and patients).
This connection is often referred to as the Clinical/Technical
Technology is useful only when it improves the ability of the
healthcare institutions and providers to improve, in turn, the
diagnosis and treatment of the patient. I would like to see the
next company argument being made about which company can "see it
better," and how this vision translates into a better, more useful
product. Then, the company should be able to demonstrate why seeing
it better leads to a better outcome for the patient.
After it is clear that the doctor and patient "win" by use of
the technology, then it would be appropriate to describe why the
unique technology involved enabled such an excellent result.