Healthcare Technology Featured Article

April 26, 2013

Net Medical Xpress Launches Technology User Group

Technology user groups have become popular ways for companies to introduce, promote and solicit feedback for new technology products.

Net Medical Xpress launched its own technology user group to accelerate developments in the telemedicine market. The group, which will consist of internal software developers, physicians, customer relations personnel, operations staff and Net Medical Xpress customers, will hold regular meetings to create additional value for the telemedicine industry.

Nathan Harvey of CustomInk hosts a technology user group in the Washington, D.C., area. On his blog, he offers a number of suggestions for successfully hosting a user's group.

The most critical suggestion is to offer a consistent time, date and location for each meeting. In urban areas, choose a place that is accessible via public transportation. In any area, choose a location that offers free Wi-Fi. Harvey has a Twitter account dedicated to his group, and he also leverages to recruit new members and remind current members about meetings.

He also suggests encouraging member participation, feeding the group and giving away free items so that members have an incentive to come and so that they will integrate with the group.

A consistent agenda format is also a good idea. Harvey has each member of his group fill out a sign-up sheet upon entering so that he can capture contact information. He also invites them to write questions on the sheet that they would like the group to address.

When the meeting begins, he goes around the room giving each member an opportunity to share announcements. These may include job openings at their companies or information about an open source contribution that a group member has made.

For meeting content, Harvey suggests doing demos and tutorials, presentations involving one or two speakers or "lightning talks" in which four to six attendees give 5 to 10-minute presentations. Video presentations work best when they are no more than 15 minutes long and the presenter is available for a Q&A after the presentation.

Groups can also have "un-meetings" during which group members bring up discussion topics or propose talks for future meetings.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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