LAS VEGAS – The iWALK2.0 by iWALKFree Inc caused quite a commotion at last year’s Medtrade, and the Canada-based company will be back in the states for Medtrade Spring, scheduled for March 10-12 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
Brad Hunter, director of Business Development at iWALKFree Inc, believes his innovative product is ideal for the retail HME environment. Medtrade attendees last year agreed en masse, leading to a “landslide” of orders for Hunger and his team. Medtrade Spring attendees will be able to see the product at Booth #419. Click Here to register for Medtrade Spring.
With less than 50 days to go until Medtrade Spring, Medtrade Monday chatted with Hunter about the last few months since his product won two awards at Medtrade.
Greg Thompson, editor of Medtrade Monday: How have things been going since your award-winning Medtrade?
Brad Hunter, director of Business Development at iWALKFree Inc: It’s been a beehive of activity. The word is spreading much faster than we anticipated, both within the DME community and in the general public.
We haven’t started marketing yet, so this is very surprising. We’ve picked up hundreds of dealers, and new ones come on board daily. Independent sales reps, buyers groups, and distributors are reaching out to us. We’ve even picked up a few foreign distributors. Quite frankly, we wish we could respond to all of our new opportunities, but for now, our focus is to service our growing DME/HME dealer network.
Thompson: What are your goals for 2014 and beyond?
Hunter: For starters, we want to continue and augment the progress experienced since Medtrade. Further, we want to continue to build a general awareness of the product and its benefits to the medical device industry, and to the general public. We’re just getting started, and it’s already an exciting ride.
Thompson: What do you hope to accomplish at the upcoming Medtrade Spring?
Hunter: Our goal is to make contact with more new dealers and to introduce new educational and marketing programs targeted to the DME/HME market.
We find our new dealer base is largely concentrated in the Eastern USA, which makes sense considering the Orlando location of last year’s Medtrade. Populating the Western and Central states is certainly an objective.
Thompson: What do dealers like best about the product?
Hunter: Our dealers tell us that it’s a gratifying experience to give someone his or her mobility back using iWALK2.0 – watching them learn to iWALK in minutes – or less, right there in the store and seeing the happy realization on their face as it happens. Learning to fit the device is easy, so providing additional educational resources that make this easy to achieve will be an additional focus.
Thompson: Are there misconceptions about this relatively new product?
Hunter: As a new product, we find a considerable amount of skepticism. Medtrade and Medtrade Spring are perfect for shattering these myths, as we did in Orlando. We will fit the device to hundreds of attendees and let them decide for themselves. Finally, Medtrade Spring will give us an excellent opportunity to talk to the dealers and learn more about their retail environment so we can better structure our programs.
Thompson: Can you share a recent anecdote of a satisfied customer?
Hunter: I heard the following anecdote from Tom Gosselin of Black Bear Medical, Portland, Maine:
“We’ve trained our staff to use and fit the device, and customers often learn in the first 20 to 30 seconds and are walking on their own within the first few steps. They have worn the iWALK2.0 to the register, paid for it, and walked out the store on it.
“We received our first case of iWALK2.0 and sold through quickly. We’re already part way through our latest order. We rent knee scooters, but the iWALK2.0 provides our customer with more useful, convenient mobility at work, at home, everywhere. Even though it’s brand new on the market, it’s already equaled our knee scooter business. We’re very confident that it will continue to sell well – and that knee scooters will truly become a thing of the past. Crutch alternatives are becoming increasingly desirable, and iWALK2.0 is the future of mobility.”