Products & Technology
Blue Ribbon HME
Another year into our New Products of the Year Awards program, and 2018 sees another set of top-drawer HME offerings.
- By David Kopf
- Dec 01, 2018
At its core, the business of home medical equipment is about the kinds of devices and products that can make a true difference in patients’ lives. Bearing that in mind, providers want winners. They want the kind of items they know will come in first place with their patients.
That’s why HME Business conducts its annual New Products of the Year Awards program. For five years now, we’ve been hunting for the kinds of products that turn in a blue ribbon performance. And it’s not just products either. The awards program also covers the types of business services and products that help providers operate more efficient businesses and provide better service to their patients and referral partners.
This year’s edition of the New Products of the Year Awards saw particularly hot competition among products in the sleep, mobility, retail and respiratory categories, each trading on their innovation and quality. Shifting over to the business services and business technology entries, the entries reflected providers’ ever-growing need for resources that help them respond strategically to market shifts and reimbursement policy changes.
Most importantly, this is a provider-judged competition. While HME Business might organize the program, we work with a blind panel of judges from the HME provider community who review and score all the entries. Because of the increased turnout in entries, this year’s competition required us to add some new judges to support the effort, and we’re indebted to all the judges for generously contributing their time and expertise, and we are grateful for their industry spirit for wanting to support a provider-judged awards program to help their industry peers.
Ultimately, the judges selected 12 winning products this year.
The winners came from a variety of categories:
- Business Services
- Business Technology – Specialized Solutions Home Access
- Incontinence & Urology
- Mobility – Power & Manual Wheelchairs
- Mobility – Scooters
- Respiratory – In-Home Equipment
- Respiratory – Portable Equipment
- Retail (a tie between two products)
- Seating and Positioning
- Sleep – Resupply Items & Related Sleep Products
We initially reported on the winners in October, and HMEB Publisher Karen Cavallo and I gave them their awards at the 2018 Medtrade Fall Expo in Atlanta, which ran October 16-17. However, now it’s time to take a closer look at our winners and see why they stand out as blue-ribbon examples of what the HME industry has to offer:
Patient-Centered Respiratory Home Accreditation
The Compliance Team
HME providers have been required to obtain Medicare accreditation for nearly a decade, but they quickly learned that in addition to letting them bill Medicare, accreditation gave them new ways to differentiate their businesses to referral partners. Now we’re seeing specialized accreditation programs take that strategic differentiation further by giving them additional ways to further refine the care they offer in their areas of expertise. The Compliance Team’s Patient-Centered Respiratory Home Accreditation program is the first accreditation program specifically designed to help advanced respiratory care providers perform at the top of their license to better serve their “critical needs” patients The Compliance Team’s operations-based Exemplary Provider accreditation program for Patient-Centered Respiratory Home enhances patient management practices through concise measures the cover access issues, provider coordination, and communication between respiratory specialists and prescribers.
Business Technology – Specialized Solutions
E-prescription has been an increasingly regular component of U.S. healthcare IT systems for years — except when it comes to the HME industry. However, as Associate Editor Leila McNeill recently reported in the September HME Business, e-prescription has been finding its way into HME and now that it’s here, the technology could offer several improvements for providers. In fact, the American Association for Homecare is currently undertaking a project to ensure that this transition to and integration of e-prescribing will be done correctly. Brightree’s e-Prescribe connects HME providers with clinical partners to electronically receive and process orders with increased efficiency and accuracy. Providers can receive orders from referral sources in their preferred method and securely and accurately share patient data such as required documentation, demographics, insurance information, progress notes, vitals and diagnosis information.
The goal of providing home access is to ensure that the devices that help users live independently mesh seamlessly with how they live. Harmar’s SL300 stairlift aims to do just that. A primary feature that achieves that is the stairlift’s nylon-polymer, helical worm drive that runs up and down a nylon-polymer track. This ensures the chair has six points of contact which confers a smooth ride. The chair supports up to 300 lbs. and incorporates an oversized footrest for comfort and security. An ergonomic control switch can be operated by patients with arthritis or limited hand dexterity. When not in use, SL300’s chassis folds up to occupy only 11 inches of width from the staircase wall, allowing others to pass by. The rail mounts only 1 inch from the wall and is only 3 inches tall. In terms of power, the stairlift has a 24V DC Battery and a charger plugs into standard AC outlet. This can run more than 40 cycles in the event of a power outage.
Incontinence & Urology
Cure Ultra Coude Catheter
The 16-inch Cure Ultra Coude Intermittent Catheter for men who are seeking an easy-to-use, pre-lubricated catheter that will not kink when it is bent. The sterile, single-use intermittent catheter offers an easy tear top, fire-polished eyelets, pre-lubricated straight tip with Cover-All technology, and unique “No Roll” connector/funnel end. The product is not made with DEHP, BPA or natural rubber latex. Available in sizes 12-18 French, it also features a proprietary CoverAll application process for even distribution of lubricant over the catheter as it is removed from the package, making the catheter ready-to-use with ultra-low resistance as users self-cath.
Mobility – Power & Manual Wheelchairs
Edge 3 with 4.5mph iLevel
It’s getting to the point that many in the CRT space see power seat elevation as a necessity, not just a nice-to-have feature, and the Edge 3 with 4.5mph iLevel makes a good case for that argument. Quantum’s iLevel lets iLevel users safely and confidently operate the power chair at walking speed with the seat fully elevated at 12 inches. This lets them interact with peers and carry out their day with improved functionality and quality of life. The Edge 3 carries them with confidence via its upgraded SRS (Smooth Ride Suspension) which delivers a smooth, comfortable ride and advanced stability. Standard Edge 3 features include front and rear LED fender lights, a USB charger, and drive wheel color accents. Speaking of color, the Edge 3 is available in 19 color options. Also, the company is proud to note that the Edge 3 is made in the United States, using foreign and domestic parts.
Mobility – Scooters
Jazzy Zero Turn
Pride Mobility Products
When you depend on a scooter for mobility, maneuverability and portability are key considerations. The Jazzy Zero Turn recognizes that and takes travel scooter maneuverability to the next level. Featuring patent-pending iTurn Technology, the Jazzy Zero Turn has a 38 in. turning radius, essentially creating a four-wheel scooter with the maneuverability of a three-wheel scooter. The scooter can carry up to 300 lbs., has a 4 mph top speed and a range of up to 10 miles. Other features include independent CTS suspension, LED marker lights, extended-range batteries, underseat storage, and feather-touch disassembly. The total weight of the scooter is 120 lbs. and the heaviest part when disassembled is 48 lbs.
Respiratory – In-Home Equipment
FLYP Nebulizer pe1200m
Convexity Scientific Inc.
The lightweight, FLYP portable nebulizer offers therapy that fits in a user’s’ pocket. Smaller than a smartphone, That kind of accessibility and portability could become a game-changer for many patients with pulmonary conditions such as asthma and COPD. The device uses an internal disk that vibrates at ultrasonic speed. When medication passes through the disk’s holes, it produces an inhalable aerosol mist, with the needed to dispense medication shortened to approximately seven minutes for most medications. Powered by a USB rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts 10 treatments between recharging.
Respiratory – Portable Equipment
The FreeStyle Comfort portable oxygen concentrator from CAIRE is designed to conform to the natural curve of the body for comfortable wear. The device weighs 5 lbs. and delivers up to 1050 milliliters of oxygen per minute. A full-color LCD display screen with glow in the dark buttons shows remaining battery charge and oxygen flow settings so users can always monitor your machine. Operational via wall outlet (AC) power, motor vehicle (DC) power, the POC is packaged with a standard four-hour battery pack or an optional eight-hour battery pack. The FreeStyle Comfort is also designed for travel, and is FAA compliant for commercial flights. Clinical features include CAIRE’s patented UltraSense technology ensuring a pulse of oxygen is delivered quickly in the early stages of the breath reducing skipped breaths. Also, should a no-breath alarm occur, the FreeStyle Comfort will deliver oxygen therapy rapidly at its current setting at a rate of 20 breaths per minute until this alarm condition has been resolved. The FreeStyle Comfort offers wireless connectivity for providers to periodically monitor location and usage of the device through CAIRE’s telehealth solution, CAIREview powered by SynsorMed.
The lightweight, aluminum-framed STELLA rollator includes weighs in at only 14 lbs., but still packs in the kinds of features that help people with limited mobility carry on their daily activities and enjoy life. These include an oversized, soft-material backrest that is removable; a removable accessory pouch; and a cane holder and cup holder, which can both be reversed from left to right. Four, 8 inch casters come with smooth urethane tires and a thicker brake cable along with adjustable handles ensure peace of mind and comfort when using the rollator.
Power Lift Recliners
VivaLift Infinity Collection PLR-525iM
Pride Mobility Products
The VivaLift Infinity Collection PLR-525iM power lift recliners mark the industry’s first four-motor power lift recliner, which essentially provides an infinite range of positioning. The power lumbar, power headrest, footrest, backrest and lift functions can be customized using a soft-touch hand control, which also happens to include a handy USB charging port. Lithium battery backup ensures that the recliner is operational in the event of a power outage. The chair supports up to 375 lbs. and comes in Prides Durasoft fabric as standard or Ultraleather as an option.
Seating and Positioning
Stealth Products Cushions
The Stealth Products Cushion line features Stealth’s Coolcore technology cover material. Coolcore is a chemical free, four-way stretch material that offers moisture wicking, moisture transportation, and moisture evaporation properties. The Coolcore technology also offers increased immersion properties. The new cushion line also features a convenient color-coding system to identify the suggested HCPC code and function family, which makes choosing the appropriate cushion much easier and more convenient. Other features include contoured highdensity foam bases, lateral and pre-ischial shelf contours, and a range of standard size width and depth offerings depending upon the model. Options include urethane liners for incontinence and optional cover materials including Stealth Tek or mesh.
Sleep – Resupply Items & Related Sleep Products
DreamWear Full Face
Philips rounded out its DreamWear masks with the third installment: a full-face version. The full-face version of the DreamWear provides individuals with sleep apnea who tend to breathe through their mouth the ability to comfortably sleep in any position they want thanks to the mask’s design with the hose on top of their head instead of in front of their face. Also, the mask’s design provides an open field of view and prevents redness and irritation on the nose bridge. Because the mask is part of the DreamWear line, it is essentially three masks in one. Patients can easily switch between the three interchangeable cushions, allowing them to find what works best for them as they manage their condition.
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of HME Business.
David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.