In writing about Intel's new TeleHealth health monitor last month, I sort of glossed over the market challenges it faces in making the system pay.
A little online investigating shows that those challenges are considerable, and that the company is aware of them.
Intel got into a consumer market it did not yet understand because it found an opportunity it could not resist.
The product was actually acquired through WebVMC LLC of Conyers, Georgia in May.
The challenge for Intel is to expand beyond the hospital niche into nursing homes, retirement communities and home care. This was just hinted at by Chad Clemons, who apparently led Intel's side on the deal, in a blog post last month.
In IT, we talk about "customers" which refers to Intel employees using IT services, not Intel customers who buy and use Intel's products.
Intel must not only touch individual consumers with a long-term age-in-place vision, but create alliances and a channel in markets where it has little experience.
ChillMark Research called the WebVMC deal a "savvy move," but pointed out several integration issues the company faces in dealing with Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Personal Health Record (PHR) systems like Microsoft HealthVault.
Chillmark quoted an Intel executive saying a full introduction must wait until Intel gets its strategy straight, perhaps delaying it until early next year.
This market is important for more than Intel, however.
Monitoring technology like this, which can dramatically increase the productivity of such workers without losing quality, is essential if our creaking bones aren't going to break the U.S. health care system over the next decades.
I called this kind of technology The World of Always On when I first began covering it five years ago, defining medical applications like this one as "killer apps."
Having a main-line technology company like Intel involved is also important so that medical applications can be integrated with home automation and inventory systems, creating an "Internet of Things" based on wireless networks, applications which live in the air.
It took courage on Intel's part to grab WebVMC, and it will take equal courage for it to capitalize on the opportunity. It may be the most important medical technology story of the coming years.
This box may just save your life.