Medtrade 2018 did not disappoint! It proved to be a tremendous opportunity to mine for inspiration, see the latest innovations and meet some incredible people.
My biggest takeaway from the event is that strategic innovation continues to be the biggest differentiator for companies looking to rise to the top of the home medical equipment (HME) industry.
Just like in other industries, innovation secures competitive advantages and builds sustainable, long-term equity for brands.
Here’s a closer look at how HME companies are harnessing the power of innovation to set themselves apart.
Advances in IoT Technology
The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is changing this industry, just like every other. To survive—and thrive—providers must keep up. New offerings are enabling them to do just that. For example, Brightree introduced their new Patient Hub, giving providers a platform to simplify and increase their engagement with patients.
Another example is Health Mobius. Health Mobius enables providers to offer tens of thousands of items to their cash sale customers without stocking them on-site. They provide a customized online catalog (with the provider’s logo/identity and selected products), order processing, fulfillment and payment management, so a sale can still be made even when a walk-in customer can’t find what they’re looking for in the showroom.
Advances in Safety
Products are being purposefully designed to make it easier to reduce risks and eliminate/mitigate hazards. For example, Drive DeVilbiss introduced the Splash Defense Transfer Bench, which features a U-shaped conduit in which to place a shower curtain liner. By allowing the shower curtain to fully close, water is kept from spilling out of the tub, preventing slipping hazards.
Advances in Mobility
Powered chairs have always given people increased access and mobility that enhances their quality of life. Now they are going even farther, providing adjustable seat heights, attractive styling and a slew of creature comforts. For example, Pride Mobility’s Jazzy Air 2 is self-driven and elevates so that users can reach cabinets and appliances, and be at eye level for conversations with others who are standing—all with a sleek, modern design. This definitely isn’t your grandmother’s wheelchair!
Advances in Comfort
One of the many examples of the industry-wide focus on comfort is the DreamWear Full Face from Philips Respironics. This product for patients with sleep apnea features a soft feel, unique in-frame airflow, and a design that prevents red marks, discomfort or irritation on the nose bridge.
Advances in Convenience
A great example of brands dedicating themselves to bringing more convenience to patients’ lives is the OxyGo lightweight, portable oxygen concentrator (POC). This smart product enables patients to carry the unit instead of pulling a bulky cart. The entire unit is less than five pounds—including the battery.
The home medical equipment space has the exciting opportunity to improve the lives of millions of people. While Seed Strategy has worked in the HME/DME category in the past, we’re looking forward to becoming even more active in this space in the future—and helping our clients develop enduring brands that deliver advantaged, innovative products and services that resonate with their customers.
Edited by Adam Siegel. In addition to being the Editor of The Accelerator, Adam is a Creative Director at Seed Strategy where he draws upon his diverse experience in advertising, research and innovation to craft breakthrough creative and winning concept copy.