What a Difference a Year Makes
In many respects, it seems like several years have gone by since
we launched Neurotech Business Report in September 2001. In the
days before September 11, there was a significant media and industry
interest that accompanied the launch of this publication and our
newly published market research report on the market for neurotechnology.
Unfortunately, our moment in the sun was scarcely longer than Andy
Warhols prescribed 15 minutes.
As was the case with many businesses and many industries, the events
of September 11 took its toll on this new venture. Instead of an
investment community optimistic for new opportunities, we now had
to confront a near panic in financial markets. Our direct mail efforts
to acquire new subscribers produced dismal results. Our first annual
Neurotech Leaders Forum, held in early October 2001, had sparse
attendance. And the intense media interest in neurotechnology from
just a few weeks earlier all but evaporated.
But these events did not dampen our enthusiasm for neurotechnology
or deter us from our mission to help monitor the progress from medical
technology to commercial products. And for that were glad,
because if we had thrown in the towel early, we might never have
had the opportunity to witness many of the encouraging business
and technology developments that offer so much hope to people with
neurological diseases and disorders and profit to investors willing
to look beyond the current anemic economic climate.
Considering the range of technologies and applications weve
covered in this publication, its understandable to think weve
been at it for much longer than one year. Advances in cochlear prostheses,
progress in retinal implants, injectable neurostimulators, a whole
new class of stroke-treatment devices, novel brain sensing and diagnostic
equipmentmost industries could only dream of this rate of
technology development, especially in a year like this one.
Perhaps the most rewardingand motivatingexperience during
our first year of publishing has been the opportunity to interact
with users of neural prostheses, neuromodulation devices, and advanced
neurodiagnostic systems. In many ways, these are the real pioneers
of our industry, willing to subject themselves and their bodies
to first-generation devices, techniques, and materials; willing
to endure the frustrations caused by politicsmedical
and congressionalby reimbursement issues, by funding shortfalls,
and by a general public that is not yet fully aware of how much
we all stand to gain if we would only make the commitment. Compared
to the struggle that these people face every day, our perseverance
in the face of publishing economics seems trivial indeed.
Of course the final reason why were glad we stuck it out is
the opportunity to use this space to convey our views on the business,
technology, and politics affecting this industry. We know that not
everyone has enjoyed everything weve had to say. But we appreciate
the fact that even a small number of management and financial professionals
in this field have found the justification and the resources to
pay our subscription fee.
We hope to continue in this vein and with this spirit for many more
years to come.
Editor and Publisher