January 3, 2020

Since its launch, the Medit i500 has been advertised as the "easy entry into dentistry" with absolutely no subscription costs. Although a very good way of penetrating the intraoral scanner (IOS) market, we personally had doubts about the long term sustainability of this business model. The Medit Team do a truly impressive job continuously updating and improving the associated software, and this has been up to this point, free of charge. They also provided completely free of charge cloud storage. The question was, how will this be funded long term? Well it seems we may have an answer. Coming in the third quarter of 2020, there is going to be large changes to this strategy, with three subscriptions models / membership plans to be introduced.

An email sent on the 26th of December 2019 by Medit to its users describes innocuously, updates to the Medit Link Terms and Conditions. In this email there is a lot of information mainly focused on the revised terms and conditions, and frankly, a lot of information that most dentists will look over. There is an external link to the updated terms and conditions and buried under a wall of text is some interesting information under the title membership subscription. This felt hidden away and would have been much easier to find if described explicitly in the email.

Note: there is contention regarding what to call this. Subscription model? Membership model? Monthly fees? To us and indeed the end users, it is all the same. Paying monthly fees for services that are otherwise locked behind a paywall. Take note that this is mainly focused around cloud storage and the Medit team has stated they will continue to provide free lifetime updates/upgrades to the scanning software. I repeat, the membership plans do not effect the scanner capabilities at all.

We have taken the liberty to summarise this information for you, which is from the updated terms and conditions and also discussions from the the Medit team on official Medit i500 Users Facebook Group:

  • In the third quarter of 2020, Medit Link 3.0 will be released. This will be introducing 3 different membership plans: Standard, Premium and Premium Plus.
  • These subscription plans mainly revolve around cloud storage. The scanner remains free to use without restrictions to the scanning quality. Again, these membership plans are for the software only, not the scanner per say. 
  • The Standard Membership will contain all of today's Medit Link Features  + 10 GB of cloud storage (this means the cloud storage is being reduced to 10 GB, previously on promotion as 8000 GB / 1 TB, before the plans were released).
  • Additional storage space and services are available by upgrading your membership. The additional storage is as follows: Free Membership = 10GB, Premium = 1 TB and Premium Plus = 5 TB.
  • At this stage the cost of these membership plans is 20 EURO per Month for Premium and 40 EURO per month for Premium Plus.
  • You can modify/cancel the membership you have subscribed to at any time, once per month.
  • The two other fee-based membership plans will offer increased cloud storage and also new additional software features. These features are not related to the scanning experience but offer more functionality.  
  • These 'new features' are not yet disclosed but will encompass patient education modules which we predict may include smile design, orthodontic or time lapse features.

Subscription models dominate most industries and IOS seem to be following suit.

One of the main advantages of the Medit over other scanners, like the TRIOS, was not having any subscription costs at all. This may no longer hold true in the future if you want to use increased cloud storage. In saying that, the Medit is still one of the only scanners on the market that does provide a free option in its subscription model and going this route does not hinder the functionality of the scanner itself at all.

Some other scanners (like the TRIOS) cannot be used at all if you do not pay for the subscription. You are literally locked out of using the scanner until you pay. In the case of the Medit i500, there is a free option with limited cloud storage but full scanning features.

Whether it will become a necessity in the future to opt in for the paid subscriptions, time will tell. After all we still do not know in detail what the 'new features' for paying subscribers are going to entail and how enticing they will be. 

What does this mean for me?

If you don't own a Medit, this may be an important consideration for you. The Medit is still a completely free to use scanner but if you want to use more than 10 GB cloud storage, then you may need to sign up for the membership plans. We are also still waiting to hear what the the additional features are.  

If you own a Medit scanner already, firstly, breathe. You can still use your Medit without monthly costs. You will just need to ensure you are working within the 10 GB limit. Take note that the cloud storage provided used to be much larger before the update goes live. 

 A few key pointers to ensure you stay within this limit:

  • 10 GB is not a lot of space. Its free however so I guess we can't complain. 
  • The Medit scanner can store scans in either Raw format or Processed (called MeditMesh). Do NOT auto sync raw data with the cloud. These files are very large (can be up to 2-3 GB per case) and you will burn through your free storage quickly.
  • RAW data is mainly useful for short-term continuous care of the same patient, for long term storage, you will want to store patient files as the processed MeditMesh files on the cloud. 
  • MeditMesh files are approximately 10 MB per full arch case. This means you can store up to 1000 cases using the free 10 GB subscription tier. If you have additional scan data this can go up to 40 MB per case.
  • Once you get close to your free limit you have 2 options. Pay for a subscription or Export off the cloud. 
  • The Medit allows easy exporting of STL, PLY and OBJ files off the cloud if you need to free up space. A typical full arch case is around 60-70 MB in these file types. Note: this is different to the Cloud Storage MeditMesh Files which are smaller.
  • You are free to remove any files off the cloud but will need to find your own method of storing these files.
  • We are told there will be "automatic clean-up" features released in the future in order to minimise the inconvenience in managing this.
  • Finally, i500's new users will receive one-year free Medit Link promotion counting from the time of the i500 purchase date, or until 2020 3Q, whichever lasts longer.

Make sure to turn this OFF in the MeditLink Software!

That is all the information we have for now. Keep an eye out on our blog for future updates regarding the costs and features to be released by Medit in the upcoming months! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them below or contact us through our website. 

Happy New Year!

About the author 

Dr Ahmad Al-Hassiny

Dr Ahmad is a global leader in digital dentistry and intraoral scanners, carrying out lectures as a KOL for many companies and industry. He is one of the few in the world who owns and has tested all mainstream scanners and CAD/CAM systems in his clinic. Dr Ahmad Al-Hassiny is also the Director of The Institute of Digital Dentistry (iDD), which is a world-leading digital dentistry education provider. iDD offers live courses, masterclasses, and an online training platform, with a mission to ensure dentists globally have easy and affordable access to the best digital dentistry training possible.

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