HME Business Award Winners
The Envelope, Please
The winners of this year's HME Business New Product Awards competition offer compelling new options for serving patient needs.
- By David Kopf
- Dec 01, 2015
We launched our New Products of the Year competition last year to identify standout examples of products that providers can offer to their patients, as well s the products and services they use to run their business. Now in its second installment, we were happy to see even more entries of great examples of products and services that can benefit providers and their patients. It appears the competition is catching on, and we couldn’t be happier, because it means telling providers more about the options available to them.
This year we received entries across a number of categories:
- Auto Access
- Beds & Support Surfaces
- Business Services
- Business Technology
- Diabetic Supply
- Home Access
- Mobility – Scooters
- Mobility - Wheelchairs
- Respiratory – In-Home Equipment
- Respiratory – Portable Equipment
To judge the entries, we enlisted the help of various anonymous HME providers across a variety of disciplines, who scored the entries. As a result, this year’s competition produced 13 winners with ties in two categories.
So, with all that said, let’s learn more about the 2015 New Product of the Year Award winners:
Driving the BruanAbility MXV project are (L to R) Mike Pugh, engineering manager of the MXV, and Bill Newton, MXV product manager.
The Braun Corp.
The American love affair with the car is undeniable, so it’s no small wonder that auto access is a key product niche within the mobility portion of the industry. A person’s need to get around and enjoy the independence of the automobile of their choice doesn’t stop due to medical condition or injury.
The inspiration behind the MXV was to give consumers a choice to better match their personalities with the vehicles they drive, according to MXV Product Manager Bill Newton.
“There are a lot of drivers who simply don’t want to drive a minivan,” he explains. “The rugged appearance of the MXV provides a feeling of style, adventure and freedom to get out and ‘Explore.’”
Some key, patented features on the BraunAbility MXV that Newton says are “critical to its success” are a second row, passenger side door design; a modified B-pillar; cantilevered seat bases and a sliding shifter. All four of these features were designed to maximize interior space for wheelchair fit and maneuverability.
“The vehicle looks beautiful, it was a masterful job by the design team,” he says. “]This was a large and complex project for our company. It was remarkable to see everyone come together and support the success of this product; the Ford Explorer MXV.”
Beds & Support Surfaces
The minds behind Smart Check (L to R): David Hopp, senior product development engineer, Glenn Fournie, vice president of operations, Leane Darnold, senior product development engineer, Patrick Meeker, vice president of global sales, Jackie Klotz, end user marketing manager, Kevin Meier, senior director of product development, and Ross Peyton, product development engineer.
Sensor Ready Cushion with Smart Check
ROHO, A Permobil Group Company
Ease and accuracy are two priorities when it comes to dialing in a wheelchair support surface. Bearing that in mind, Smart Check by ROHO is a cushion feedback system that is intended to assist an individual by saving an inflation range during cushion setup. During subsequent inflation level checks, Smart Check is intended to indicate whether adjustments are needed to remain in the saved range. Smart Check stores an individual’s inflation range, which can be checked with the simple push of a button.
“The reason Smart Check is so versatile and innovative is because it can detect very low air pressures and measure very small variations in pressure,” says Leane Darnold, senior product development engineer. “By doing so, any individual who depends on their ROHO can feel confident they are setup correctly.”
At the end of the day, the inspiration for the Smart Check was ROHO’s customers.
“Our customers wanted a new, intelligent, and intuitive tool to check the inflation range of their cushions to ensure they were getting the most out of the product,” says Jackie Klotz, marketing manager for end users. “Smart Check empowers the user to quickly check to make sure they are properly immersed and enveloped in the cushion — all with a push of a button. Basically, our customers asked and we listened.”
And the result is, in fact, an easy-to-use system, according to Kevin Meier, senior director of product development for ROHO.
“In fact, extensive ethnographic studies across multiple languages resulted in 93 percent of first time Smart Check users successfully setting up their ROHO cushion,” he notes.
Helping providers keep their businesses at the top of the list are Dennis Olsen, sales manager/medical industry, and Bob Jones, vice president of sales.
ARI Premium Directory Management
ARI Network Services
Digital marketing can be a lot more complex than many providers realize. Case in point: Directory management. According to Search Engine Watch, 61 percent of local online searches result in a purchase, but more than 50 percent of online business listings have errors in them, and 70 percent of businesses admit they don’t have time to manage listings on all of the sites that consumers use.
Enter ARI’s Premium Directory Management. ARI regularly updates all of a providers information, such as name, address, phone, hours, website URL, etc. with more than 60 directories, search engines and navigational apps to ensure that consumers will always have the latest info on that provider. The service also optimizes a provider’s listing on Google My Business, where more than 50 percent of online searches begin and Monitors a provider’s online reputation to make sure they know and can react to what is being said about their business online.
“The first place where people go to start their search is the Internet,” says ARI’s Dennis Olsen. “The Internet consists of all of these directories, and all these directories are comprised of information from different places. … The problem of keeping it consistent is the first step, but the problem of keeping it locked down so no one else can change it is step two.”
Keeping providers on top of documentation are (L to R) Jana Macon, vice president of strategic services, and Rob Boeye, executive vice president.
(844) GET-BRTE (438 2783)
Brightree’s MyForms provides a good example of how technology is continuing to help providers automate their businesses. Collecting documentation for claims is the least automated and highest risk area for most HME businesses, because of the exposure to audits. But many providers have only cobbled-together work processes that involve checklists, spreadsheets, stickies and generally inefficient means to ensure rock-solid documentation. Brightree MyForms offers a configurable, web-based documentation and work management platform designed to eliminate paper forms; improve audit outcomes; and create process integrity across HME providers.
MyForms provides tools to streamline that process and enforce a documentation collection process to automatically distribute work to individuals or teams with established step-by-step work paths. Dashboards and front-end reporting offer visibility into activities and prioritizes user work by revenue and time goals. They system can automatically generate and completes all required forms based on HCPCS, payer, and diagnosis codes based on the sales order. Embedded intelligence ensures each document is correct, complete and compliant before being processed. And to keep the team working together, MyForms offers secure messaging that enables staff to quickly resolve issues and reduce costly errors.
(L to R) Arkray’s Todd Cullen, director of marketing, and Jace Nelson, marketing and communications specialist.
GLUCOCARD Shine Blood Glucose Monitoring System
ARKRAY USA Inc.
Compliance with diabetes treatment often comes down to involvement. If providers give patients the right tools, those patients will be in the driver’s seat when it comes to managing their condition. And the right tools provide the right information.
That’s what the GLUCOCARD Shine Blood Glucose Monitoring System aims to accomplish. For instance, the meter has indicators for strip expiration date and hypoglycemia. Also, preand post-meal averaging help the user differentiate glucose monitors before and after meal. The backlit LCD screen large display digits clearly serve up information and make the glucose monitor easy to use. Alternate site testing is also possible with the device.
And for real treatment management, all the date collected by the Shine can be downloaded to into a data management system for easy tracking and charting, which helps patients and health professionals monitor and manage performance.
Focusing on bath safety innovation is Rich Lowestein, vice president of sales.
Safe-er-Grip Brush Bar
Bath safety represents a key category for home access, but providing bath safety isn’t always as easy as it seems. Bathroom spaces can get cramped and need some efficiency, and that can sometimes fly in the face of bath safety objectives. A grab bar might take up room that the user also needs for other items.
Enter the Safe-er-Grip Brush Bar. The bar offers an innovative solution by providing a useful space to hang items such as hairbrushes, combs and toothbrushes, but it also serves up safety. In instances where a client needs fast support, he or she can grab the bar for safety.
The Safe-er-Grip Brush Bar offers six slots for combs and toothbrushes and four books for larger hairbrushes and similar items. The bar measures 11 in. across and attaches to the wall via two 2.5 in.-diameter suction cups that can attach to any flat, non-porous surface.
Mobility – Scooters (tie)
The men behind the Royale4S (L to R): Yung Ho, general manager and directo
Royale4S Luxury Scooter
As scooters go, the Royal4S is definitely trying to serve up a Cadillac-style ride. The fourwheeled scooter offers features such as an LCD Display control panel that includes read-outs like a clock, speed, temperature and odometer. The top canopy provides daylong comfort for riders, and that’s a good thing, because the scooter has a range of 37.5 miles per charge. A 1500W motor with an upgraded S-Drive with 200Amp power puts out a top speed is 11 mph.
The enlarged, 19 in. drive wheel independent suspension system ensure good handling, and a the scooter’s G-Sensor system provides added safety when maneuvering by automatically reducing speed when turning. The scooter is also equipped with a hand brake system, as well as electromagnetic braking on the motor for additional safety.
The Go-Go team (L to R): Bernie Allen, director of marketing for Pride Mobility and Quantum Rehab, Randy Walsh, vice president of sales for Pride, Cy Corgan, director of strategic accounts for Pride, Jim Schreiber, vice president of marketing for Pride and Quantum.
Go-Go Folding Scooter
Pride Mobility Products Corp.
With the Go-Go Folding Scooter, Pride aimed to serve up an ideal choice for the person on the go. The scooter folds in three, easy steps to make it ready to transport or storage with a space-saving design. A scooter that can fold like that means the user can take it traveling for scenarios such as journey by rail or storage in the stateroom aboard a cruise ship.
With a maximum speed of 4 mph and a per-charge range of up to 12.5 miles, the Go-Go Folding Scooter offers solid indoor and outdoor performance. In addition to a front and rear LED light package, the Go-Go Folding Scooter features an exclusive tiller design that allows for height adjustment. The scooter comes standard with two sealed lead acid batteries and offers a single lightweight lithium-ion battery as an upgrade. Optional armrests are also available.
The inspiration for the Go-Go as a retail scooter was a more consumerinspired design, according to Cy Corgan, director of strategic accounts for Pride.
“We really want products that fit the lifestyle of the Baby Boomers and individuals that have a lifestyle that needs easy transportability, maneuverability — that’s what they’re really looking for to stay on the go,” he says. “Also, if you’re a caregiver, it makes it easier to transport, as opposed to loading up a full-sized scooter.”
Mobility - Wheelchairs
Seeing eye-to-eye on iLevel are (L to R) Jim Schreiber, vice president of marketing for Pride and Quantum, Jay Brislin, MSPT, vice president of Quantum Rehab, Bernie Allen, director of marketing for Pride and Quantum.
Quantum Rehab Q6 Edge 2.0 Power Chair with iLevel
People often underestimate the ability of seeing eye-to-eye. That’s the genesis of the iLevel for Quantum’s Q6 Edge 2.0 complex rehab power chair.
On it’s own, the Q6 Edge 2.0 is a pretty impressive unit. It’s engineered to meet the performance needs of the most active user, offering up features such as standard 6 mph motors and advanced responsiveness. The Q6 Edge 2.0 also accepts a complete range of seating and electronics options.
But here’s the big difference: this is the first power base available with Quantum’s iLevel system. iLevel strengthens the independence and quality of life of the consumer by offering stable, safe, eye-level operation at the speed of life. iLevel technology improves access to the environment and enhances social interaction by allowing operation of the power chair with the seat elevated while at traveling walking speed (up to 3.5 mph).
Respiratory – In-Home Equipment
Phil Martin, executive vice president of sales for Inova Labs.
Many patients need a 24-hour oxygen solution for on the go and in the home, and that’s where the Activox DUO2 comes into play. The system incorporates a fully integrated stationary and portable oxygen concentrator.
The Activox DUO2 features two types of oxygen delivery: The stationary base provides up to 5 liters of continuous flow oxygen while the portable component provides up to 4 liters per minute equivalent PULSE-WAVE delivery (depending on which LifeChoice Activox portable oxygen concentrator model you choose). A stationary base serves as POC docking station and charges both the POC and external battery. Weighing less than 5 lbs. the POC provides patient with instant portability when detached from stationary base.
Respiratory – Portable Equipment
Jim Doty, senior director of North American field marketing, Eli Diacopoulos, respiratory care general manager, Mary Schrek, senior field marketing manager for oxygen, Jay Vreeland, director of marketing for respiratory care, Tony Breuer, senior global product manager for respiratory care, Marvin Zeigler, senior project manager, Tory Werne, senior project manager.
SimplyGo Mini Portable Oxygen Concentrator
By definition, portable oxygen concentrators are designed to keep patients on the go, and that’s what the SimplyGo aims to do. The POC offers continuous flow (up to 2 liters per minute) and pulse-dose delivery with an oxygen output of 2,000 ml/min in one sub- 10-lb. device. The SimplyGo comes with a carrying case; fold-up mobile cart; intuitive, easy-to-read screen; detachable accessory bag; rechargeable lithium ion battery; power cords; and manual. Designed for durability, the POC comes with a long-life compressor, high-impact resistant design and oversized cart wheels, and was tested and subjected to extreme conditions, including impacts, vibrations and temperatures.
Rejuva founder Kelsey Minarik and Rob Heglin, product manager for Dr. Comfort.
Dr. Comfort line of Rejuva Fashion Compression
Like a lot of the therapeutic products that HME businesses provide, the effectiveness of compression garments comes down to compliance. If patients don’t wear compression hose, they are not going to enjoy the benefits and won’t have positive outcomes.
That’s where the Dr. Comfort line of Rejuva Fashion Compression comes in. The hosiery is designed to look and feel so good that end users will want to wear them. The socks come in an assortment of styles and colors, ensuring users can find a look that fits their style. Available patterns include eye-catching offering such as argyle, diamond, herringbone and polka dot. The Rejuva product line features a padded heel and toe, as well as a wide top band, allowing the stockings to hold up well without pinching the leg. They are available in multiple levels of medically correct compression, ranging from 15-20 mmHg up to 20-30mm Hg.
They product line was born from the personal experience of Rejuva’s creator, Kelsey Minarik, who as a 21-year-old college student, experienced a deep vein thrombosis on a long flight. She wore some graduated compression stockings that gave her the relief she needed.
“But I would often forgo wearing my compression stockings and not be compliant and be uncomfortable because I was self-conscious about how it looked,” she recalls. “So I was the perfect example of someone who needed it but wasn’t wearing it due to vanity. That was the idea from which Rejuva health was born; to give people that function they need, but in styles that encourage them to be more compliant.”
Trying to take the pain out of retailing pain relief are (L to R) Laura Casto, vice president of marketing and communications, and Ryan Moor, vice president of sales.
Viverity Pain Relief Pad
Retail isn’t just about the product; it’s also about the packaging and the pricing. That’s what made Roscoe’s Viverity Pain Relief Pad an attractive offering to our judges.
On the product end of things, Viverity Pain Relief Pad is an advanced rechargeable wireless TENS device for use at home, work or travel. Its tiny compact design delivers powerful targeted and effective pain relief associated with neck, back, shoulder, elbow, hand, waist, hip/ thigh, knee, calf, ankle and foot. Available without a prescription, the easy-to-use device has four therapeutic modes to choose from and one pre-set combination program that delivers alternating therapy. With 15 levels of adjustable intensity, finding a comfortable level of relief is simple and quick.
On the retailing side of things, the Viverity comes with MAP pricing protection, point-of-purchase displays and brochures are available making this an ideal retail item for HME dealers because it sets them apart from other retail businesses.
“We thought it was important to give the HME industry their own brand that is price protected,” says Ryan Moore, Roscoe’s vice president of sales. “Something that’s not in big box and that wasn’t on Amazon.
“We’ve been doing electro-therapy for 12 years, so we knew a combination of doing something in pain that was over-the-counter would be a winner, and it has been,” he added.
This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of HME Business.