GCE sees opportunity
DALLAS – New-to-the-scene GCE Healthcare aims to be one of the last left standing in an increasingly crowded portable oxygen concentrator market, says General Manager Jim Clement.
GCE Healthcare hit the North American market with a POC under the Zen-O brand in July.
“This is a great opportunity to get involved in the conversion from (stationary to portable oxygen concentrators) over the next four, five, six years,” said Clement, formerly of DeVilbiss Healthcare. “It’s kind of like the stationary oxygen concentrator market in the 80s. Everyone jumped in and there were 20 or so companies. But only the strong survived."
GCE Healthcare acquired the exclusive rights to market the Zen-O from Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Oxus America, a division of Korea-based Oxus, in 2014. Oxus America continues to make the product in the U.S. as a manufacturing and engineering contractor.
Parent company GCE Group, a manufacturer of equipment used in medical, industrial and specialty gas industries based in Sweden, launched the Zen-O in Europe earlier this year. It makes the product for that market in the U.K.
“It’s getting a decent response,” Clement said.
GCE brings to the market a POC with low total cost of ownership, because the Zen-O gives HME providers the ability to do some repairs themselves, Clement says.
“The sieve, the compressor—they’re priced reasonably and they’re easily replaced by the provider,” he said. “The units don’t necessarily have to be sent to a facility to get repaired.”
Other advantages of the Zen-O, Clement says: It offers up to 2 lpm continuous flow, as well as six pulse-flow settings, and at 10 pounds can be carried in a shoulder bag or wheeled around in a cart.
“It’s half the weight and two-thirds the output of the 3 lpm continuous flow units on the market,” he said.
In the coming months, GCE plans to bring other oxygen products to bear on the market, including conserving devices, regulators and high-purity gas control products.
Clement, who spent 32 years at DeVilbiss in roles varying from sales and marketing to product management, plans to use all the tools in his toolbox to push GCE across the finish line.
“It’s a fun job,” he said. “I have the backing of a global corporation with very high quality standards, and high quality manufacturing and processes, but I basically get to start a company from the ground up.”