A blind devotion to development trends is causing large numbers of software developers to try and cash in on the novelty value of e-commerce, leaving a terrain of obscure but profitable niche markets unexplored and a number of potential customers frustrated.
But, to reverse the old saying: `If Muhammad won't go to the mountain . . .', the failure to satisfy market needs will almost as a rule come back to haunt you.
Just ask Queensland general practitioner and Mac user Dr Paul Carr, whose annoyance with the lack of good clinical software for practices using Apple hardware has turned him into a software developer specialising in the Australian medical practice automation market.
`I work as a general practitioner for Burnett Medical Centre in Bundaberg that, until recently, used a non-Y2K-compliant Xenix-based program for its billing activities,' Carr explained.
Using the application he developed to help with the automation of clinical functions - such as prescription writing, electronic pathology results retrieval and referral writing - in his day-to-day work, Carr decided to expand the program's functionality to include billing and administrative activities. Written in 4th dimension, Genie, as the product is called, is now installed on Burnett Medical Centre's network of 11 iMacs and commercially sold as one of only two Macintosh-based applications for medical practitioners in Australia.
`It's true that there aren't many Mac users in the medical industry, but we have already installed the program at around 40 sites in Australia and we expect to capture as much as 5 per cent of the market in the next 12 months, which is approximately 400 sites,' he enthused.
While the market for Genie depends on the number of Apple-using medicos around the country, the application has generated enough interest for Carr's company, Genie Solutions, to employ a full-time training and support person. `The company is also looking at developing more software for the medical industry,' Carr revealed.
Genie Solutions is now looking for more partners interested in selling, installing and maintaining the Genie solution around the country.
Interested parties should contact Carr on 1800 786 520 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.