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 Warhol’s 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 we’re 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 we’ve covered in this publication, it’s understandable to think we’ve 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 equipment—most industries could only dream of this rate of technology development, especially in a year like this one.

Perhaps the most rewarding—and motivating—experience 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 politics­—medical and congressional—by 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 we’re 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 we’ve 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.

James Cavuoto
Editor and Publisher



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