Moving the HME Industry Forward

General Healthcare

A Closer Look at Providers’ Choice Awards and Best Booth

April 13, 2015

LAS VEGAS – Attendees voted on the New Product Pavilion Providers’ Choice Awards, sponsored by HomeCare magazine, with three new winners taking Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

• The TwoCan Cane by TwoCanCane took home the award in the Gold Category. David Bernhardt, co-founder and designer, TwoCanCane, talked with Medtrade Monday about the honor, and even the misconceptions surrounding the award-winning take on a time-worn item.

Medtrade Monday: Why do you think the product has been so well received by judges and attendees?
Bernhardt: We believe the TwoCan Cane was so well received due to its unique and innovative design, providing users with benefits never before seen in a walking cane. Attendees understood very quickly the benefits the TwoCan Cane provided and loved the design, colors and seeing how the cane functioned.

The TwoCan Cane might look like an ordinary walking cane, but in fact has four distinct positions, each with a special purpose. From a standard walking cane, it easily and quickly becomes two canes for increased balance and stability, or it can be used as a single crutch, and lastly as an ‘easy-up’ handle from a seated position. The TwoCan Cane is a great match not just for baby-boomers, but for those recovering from surgery, strokes or other problems where balance and stability are a challenge, and we believe that’s what people loved about it.

Medtrade Monday: What misconceptions exist about the product?
Bernhardt: The misconception, when initially holding The TwoCan Cane, is that it is just another cane. Other than a refreshing variety of new ferrule designs, (that soft tip at the end of the cane), canes have remained relatively unchanged for decades. While the TwoCan Cane appears to be an elegant walking cane, this misconception is quickly dispelled with the push of a button. Suddenly it isn’t just one cane, but the TwoCan Cane morphs into a pair of matching canes to provide the balance of a walker with all the ease and convenience of a cane.

The other features of the TwoCan Cane are what we think of as the bonus features, because it can also be used as a single crutch, and as an assist up from a seated position—truly unique and innovative in a cane. The TwoCan cane really has amazing features that one wouldn’t see just looking at it.

• The Providers’ Choice Silver Award went to the Amara View Minimal Contact Full Face Mask from Philips Respironics. Jim Doty (center in the photo), senior director, Field Marketing, North America, Philips Healthcare, says the mask addresses a common complaint that full face masks feel “claustrophobic” and “cumbersome,” often leading to red marks on the bridge of the nose.

“We set out to reduce each of these issues, and based on our initial results, it appears we have successfully addressed these concerns,” says Doty. “Amara View covers less of a patient’s face than any of the leading full-face masks, minimizing the feelings of claustrophobia…Additionally, patients can wear glasses, read or watch TV while wearing the Amara View. This makes Amara View an ideal choice for someone who doesn’t want to see their bedtime routine disrupted by their therapy.”

Many providers hold the opinion that full-face masks are limiting to patients, and that those who require them will have to accept the drawbacks of a mask that covers the entire face. “With its lightweight design and open field of vision,” adds Doty, “Amara View proves that full-face masks can offer the patient the flexibility that they desire while still delivering effective therapy.”

• The OxyGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator from Applied Home Healthcare Equipment won in the Bronze Category. David J. Marquard II, president and CEO, is shown at left (center) with Stephanie Gibson, editor of HomeCare magazine, and Kevin Gaffney, group show director, Medtrade.

The POC inhabits a competitive landscape, but Marquard believes the “wearable” POC claimed the prize partly due to its weight of only 4.8 pounds, which provides 840 mls of oxygen in the first 400 milliseconds of inspiration (breathing in), with a battery duration of up to 9.5 hours at 2. “This is the most complete POC solution in the market,” he says. “Patients love it.”

OxyGo POCs are sold only through providers, never direct, and Applied does the serving. “We never sell patients direct,” says Marquard. “We are fast becoming the market leader in pushing costs out of the oxygen business for providers. OxyGo is a non-delivery model and OxyFill reduces oxygen costs by half or more.

• The award for Best Booth went to the Minneapolis-based HurryCane Company (pictured above), for its eye-pleasing and logical layout. “The retail display was integrated into the structure of their booth,” said Sarah Varner, marketing director, Medtrade. “The ongoing video demonstration, combined with an open and inviting layout, made for a particularly attractive and effective booth.”

Katie Scheetz, senior vice president, Retail Services, HURRYCANE, says judges and attendees appreciated seeing the two turn-key display options that allowed them to easily see how the HurryCane line could be incorporated into their store. “Our goal was to produce a clean, simple look that clearly demonstrated how our product fits in a retail setting,” says Scheetz. “HME owners responded very well to the layout and display ideas presented in our booth.  They were able to easily visualize how the display would fit into their store.”

The Briefcase and Cash, courtesy of A/R Allegiance Group LLC, was awarded to Cathy Smith-Friga, West Plaines Health Services, West Plaines, Missouri, at Medtrade Spring.