'Innovation' boosts HME retail

Friday, March 20, 2015

LAS VEGAS – To jumpstart the HME retail market, sometimes all it takes is a new way of thinking. For instance, just making a product easier for customers to buy can dramatically increase sales.

That is what Mariah Griffith, vice president of sales and marketing for Vista, Calif.-based BioMedical Life Systems, did with the Rebound Health OTC TENS unit. A winner of the Innovative Retail HME Award at last year’s Medtrade Spring show, Griffith simply made the product easier to buy and easier to use.

“TENS units have been around for 30 years, but they have always been prescription-only items, so the FDA wouldn’t allow sales over the counter,” she said. “Our model is one of the first approved for OTC use. While it used to be kept in the back, it now has a point-of-purchase display that can be placed in a prominent location.”

Medtrade Spring 2015 will showcase a new lineup of outside-the-box products at this year’s version of the Innovative HME Retail Awards, scheduled for March 30-April 1 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. A retail panel discussion, “The Best New Retail/Cash Opportunities,” is scheduled for Tuesday, March 31, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. During the session, representatives from 10 finalist companies will get a chance to present their products and answer questions from judges and attendees.

To make the award program more interesting, attendees will have the opportunity to cast their vote for the best retail products, says Kevin Gaffney, Medtrade group show director.

BioMedical Life Systems has always exhibited at Medtrade Spring and winning the Innovative HME Retail Award last year has given the company a much higher profile, Griffith said.

“After presenting our product, we were writing orders for it—the exposure launched it to another level,” she said. “We use our award in our marketing, literature, materials, website and even my email signature. We use it everywhere we can put it.”