How do you know which one to pick?
Two HME industry veterans, Tyrrell Hunter and Sean Welton, have teamed up to create a website that allows visitors to view the best and most useful equipment for certain conditions, and buy it on the spot. Hunter, formerly of Majors Mobility, which closed in 2011, and Welton, formerly of Community Oxygen, which Lincare bought earlier this year, are thrilled to no longer be married to Medicare. But they’re even more thrilled to offer consumers a more scientific way to make their purchasing decisions. Here’s what Hunter, co-founder and vice president, had to say about 10bestmedical.com, which officially launched in September.
HME News: What was the inspiration for creating the website?
Tyrrell Hunter: My husband had a condition that I was researching online and, as I was doing research, it dawned on me that people looking for home medical equipment have no idea what to buy. I went on one site that had 120 bath seats. How do you know which one to pick?
HME: So more isn’t always better.
Hunter: We picked 10 major medical conditions that we’ve worked on for years and years, like MS and Parkinson’s, and surveyed physicians—is this product useful, not useful, somewhat useful for that condition. We compiled that data and came up with the most useful product categories for each condition.
HME: You also layered in consumer reviews, right?
Hunter: Yes, after surveying physicians and deciding the most useful product categories, we had to figure out which products to carry. It was plodding through site after site after site, compiling reviews into spreadsheets. We had 16 primary product categories that we then split into subcategories. For canes, for example, you have adjustable canes and wooden canes. We ended up with 60, 10 best lists of products.
HME: What has been the feedback so far?
Hunter: We reached out to physicians and said, “Here’s our concept; what do you think?” They love the idea of a research-based website from people who are experienced in the field. With the shrinking number of DME providers, especially in a rural state like Maine, this site can play an important role.
HME: How do you plan to drive traffic to the website?
Hunter: We’re definitely using social media. We’re on Twitter and Facebook, and we will be on Pinterest. We’ve hired a company that specializes in social media to help us with that. We’ve also hired a PR firm to put out press releases and to get us speaking engagements. We’re really hoping there’s a grassroots element to this, too. We’re emailing our contacts from so many years in the business.