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The effects of outsourcing

Apr 2010
Tom Laurin

Outsourcing, especially across borders, has its share of fans and also its share of foes.

Defenders say it can enable significant cost and even time savings as well as access to higher-quality services and contractors with more specialized skills than an in-house production and design team might have; detractors say it can bring a range of headaches, including language barriers and lower company knowledge, and some say that it can lead to a loss of jobs in the company’s home territory.

But both its friends and enemies must agree that outsourcing has an impact on the biophotonics industry, from medical device manufacturing to the microscopy market, and BioPhotonics is taking a closer look in this month’s issue with two special feature articles.

On page 22, news editor Gary Boas looks more closely at teleradiology services, especially in India, including how such services came to be and what challenges they face – and even what complexities they present for radiology services in the US. With teleradiology, medical images are sent abroad, where radiologists read them and send back the results. The service often is used during the wee hours of the night and morning, when trained professionals might be unavailable locally.

And on page 24, news editor Caren Les examines how recent outsourcing trends affect the overall medical equipment market with a focus on how companies that make photonic technologies are fighting, rolling with or even taking advantage of the trends. Growth in this market, experts say, is being driven by the increasing numbers of aging people and their desire to stay active as well as by an increase in chronic illnesses and more public and private spending.

Whether you support or condemn outsourcing, check out our exploration of this hot-button topic.

The study of radioactive substances and high-energy radiations such as x-rays and g-rays.
BiophotonicsEditorialindustrialMicroscopyoutsourcingradiologyteleradiology servicesTest & Measurement

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