J&J exits power assist market

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

WARREN, N.J. - Independence Technologies, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that’s rolling out the iBot power wheelchair, is pulling the plug on its iGlide manual assist wheelchair.

“It’s a case of the company placing it’s strategic focus and resources on the iBot, really to focus on its core product line,” said Jeff Leebaw, a J&J spokesman.

Leebaw declined to reveal the number of iGlide units sold since the product’s introduction last year. The company plans to honor all product warranties and continue servicing the product line for up to five years.

Independence initially planned to sell its iGlide direct to the consumer. Those efforts may have backfired. At Medtrade Spring, Independence exhibited its products to HME suppliers and began the development of a dealer base.

Some rehab suppliers say manual assist chairs like the iGlide, priced at $7,900, is a tough sell.

J&J’s iBots are now in the midst of a product recall.