Moving the HME Industry Forward

Manufacturer/Provider

A Closer Look at Innovative HME Retail Product Award Winners

April 13, 2015

LAS VEGAS – The top prize in the biannual Innovative HME Retail Product Awards, sponsored by HomeCare magazine, went to a familiar product that got its start at Medtrade 2013—the iWALK2.0 Hands Free Crutch from iWALKFree Inc.

As a winner of many awards at Medtrade and Medtrade Spring, the product continues to resonate with attendees and judges. Medtrade Monday sat down with Brad Hunter, director of Business Development, iWALKFree Inc, to get his take on the product’s appeal, and how it can help providers to boost sales.

Medtrade Monday: Why do you think the product has been so well received by judges and attendees?
Hunter: When we first presented Medtrade 2013, and nobody had seen it before, I believe that everyone understood the need and the efficacy of the product [shown here with Jim Greatorex, moderator of a Medtrade Spring session called The Best New Retail/Cash Opportunities] and had high expectations of its potential. Once you understand it, the functionality and consumer demand are obvious. 

Medtrade Monday: What is the most persistent misconception about the iWalk 2.0?
Hunter: The common misconceptions is that the device is unstable. It is not. Another misconception is that people will get hurt. During more than 10 years in business, we’ve yet to receive a single injury reported. We hear that it will be difficult to learn and use, and it is not. After only a couple of minutes of research, all of these things are proven untrue, but that doesn’t really help the retailer.

Medtrade Monday: How can you help retailers dispel these misconceptions?
Hunter: First, we provide a highly informational website that serves as a reference. Also, we have a comprehensive onboarding system for every dealer, where we personally teach them about the device, how to sell it, and how to fit it.  We provide a webinar and certify dealers to become fitters. It’s an easy process, but knowing a few tips and tricks makes it a slam dunk to get people iWALKing.

We also have dedicated, highly knowledgeable staff members available at all times to answer dealer questions. This after-the-sale service requires a tremendous amount of internal resources, but it works. The dealer knows we’re right there when they need us. The good news is that the product typically outperforms consumer expectations, so we have to arm the dealer with the knowledge to disarm the knee-jerk misconceptions. Once that’s accomplished, selling the iWALK2.0 is fun.

ING Source Takes Second and Third
ING Source Inc scored a rare double with the company’s OrthoSleeve FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve taking second place, while also scoring a third place win with its Foot Gym. Dave Higgins (pictured in center at Medtrade Spring), president and CEO, ING Source, believes the cash sale potential of both items contributed heavily to the strong showing.

“The OrthoSleeve FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve is a cash-only product with no HCPCS coding,” said Higgins. “Plantar Fasciitis is an epidemic with precious few comfortable, easy-to-use treatments. The product packaging is small, with big dollar value, and there are few, if any, competitors. The OrthoSleeve has fast turns, in-store support, educational materials, and it works.

“The Foot Gym also has no HCPCS coding and one sku,” continued Higgins. “There is nothing like it anywhere. It is self merchandising, recommended by doctors and trainers, and comes with a video and illustrated guide.”

Higgins also clarified that the OrthoSleeve FS6 is not a compression sock, and while it is sometimes perceived as expensive, it is “cheaper than all alternative treatments.” The Foot Gym is also “sometimes perceived as expensive, but combined related products are 40% to 50% higher.