VitalCom: Reinventing a stale niche to ignite sales


At one time, VitalCom was an exciting company that sold its IPO on the premise of reinventing the patient-monitoring niche using a networked monitoring approach. The idea was an initial hit but fell flat when the company missed meeting its numbers during its first public quarter. It never fully recovered. First analyst coverage waned, and the market lost interest. Executives left, sales stalled, and the remaining press was negative. The company needed a new hook. Emerging wireless technology and the idea of e-business coincided with a major new product launch that hinged on wireless networking.


Use public relations to reposition the product, to increase company awareness and sales.


The product was repositioned with wireless and healthcare trade media as a wireless patient-monitoring network that enabled hospitals to link multiple facilities and operate as an e-business. A premiere client installation site was selected to “sell” the story and proof to the media.


The idea was an instant home run. Due in large part to positive media coverage, the selected hospital site was named Technology Innovator of the Year. Local NBC, CBS, and Fox news affiliates visited the site, and reams of trade articles were written and distributed throughout the industry. Leads were tracked, and a solid sales pipeline emerged. More important, the company was repositioned and became known as the creator of a wireless technology that offered a patient monitoring application. This ripened its expansion and led eventually to a corporate merger with another wireless company