SAN DIEGO – The 10x Medical Device Conference, held earlier this month at the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley, featured an HME-focused panel discussion with some familiar industry faces. Kevin Gaffney, group show director, Medtrade, moderated the panel that featured: Tom Ryan, president and CEO, American Association for Homecare; Jeremy Malecha, senior director, ResMed; Mike Serhan, executive vice president, Drive Medical Design and Engineering; and Seth Johnson, vice president, Government Affairs, Pride Mobility Products Corp.
The 10x panelists discussed timely subjects affecting the entire medical device industry, with an audience made up of mostly medical device company CEOs, presidents, vice presidents, directors, and senior managers, as well as business development executives from medical device consultancies.
Mike Sperduti (also a presenter at the conference) attended the discussion and recently chatted with Medtrade Monday about the vibe of the show, the level of understanding between manufacturers and HME providers, and how both parties can work together to capitalize on future opportunities.
Medtrade Monday: After presenting at 10X and attending the HME panel, how well do you think manufacturers understand the challenges faced by HME providers?
Mike Sperduti, president and CEO of the Mike Sperduti Companies (Emerge, Renewal Technologies, Phoinix Holdings, and Mike Sperduti Training), East Northport, NY: If you’re talking about the manufacturers we were speaking with at 10X, I don’t think a lot of them have paid attention to the HME space. From a global perspective, I think most of the manufacturers that were in that room are really focused on the acute care market space, because it’s a space that all of them have been playing in. You end up playing where you are comfortable.
Medtrade Monday: Among manufacturers in attendance, what is the level of interest in learning about HME/home care?
Sperduti: I think they are all interested in learning about home care, and that’s why that panel discussion was so well attended. It was also a focal point for the show, because we on the medical device side—and I’m an advisor—we thought there was a need to let the world know about what’s going on in home care and HME in America. There were no preconceived notions or even understanding. It was truly unveiling a full picture about what is the market, how fast is it growing, what are the challenges, and I think the group did a great job in painting that picture for the attendees.
Medtrade Monday: What misconceptions do device manufacturers have about HME provider business practices?
Sperduti: They probably didn’t know the impact, and the customer touch, that HME providers have with this emerging customer base. A lot of them are developing products that are going to be used at the home, and I don’t think they had a good solid understanding of what HME providers do, and how they could potentially help bring to market these game-changing products that they’re working on. It was great, because now the manufacturers know about this sector of health care, and how it can be a viable channel to distribute product.
Medtrade Monday: How much do manufacturers value trade shows and industry advocacy organizations?
Sperduti: Panelists made sure these folks know about the home care market and HME in America. As a result, some will come to Medtrade, and some will become members of AA Homecare.
Medtrade Monday: What was your goal in putting together this panel?
Sperduti: My goal was to get manufacturers to start looking at this market as a channel to distribute these game-changing products, so that providers who are coming to Medtrade will have really new, interesting, and patient-centric products that they can now sell. A lot of the discussion we had was about cash-pay products being prevalent in this space.
As we tell our story in more global forums, we will start seeing more innovation and more products that dealers can sell. It’s good for the HME business and good for Americans.
Medtrade Monday: What was the overall level of optimism about the HME industry?
Sperduti: The level of optimism was off the charts. The session could have gone on for hours because of the questions. For those of us in HME, we take this for granted. The world of manufacturers in that room are just learning about the demographics and opportunity that the network of dealers can provide for them. The lightbulb went off for many of them. I got approached by a lot of folks asking me about how they could get in this space.
Medtrade Monday: How can people here this panel discussion?
Sperduti: In the future, this will be a world wide broadcast that will have exposure to more than 250,000 dedicated health care professionals. Keep reading Medtrade Monday for details on availability.