Medtrade exhibitors say…’Lots of new products on the floor’

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Sunday, August 31, 2003

ATLANTA – Taking the attitude that government regulations aren’t impediments to progress, Medtrade vendors are rolling out a plethora of new products on the show floor this year.

Manufacturers admit that the proposed seven-year consumer price index freeze threatens to stagnate commerce in the HME industry, but at the same time many of the product lines debuting at the show are designed to last longer, require less maintenance, use fewer parts and work in conjunction with other products. In essence, they are intended to save cash-strapped providers money.

Elyria, Ohio-based Invacare plans to make a huge splash at the show this year, unveiling an entire generation of products Lou Slangen refers to as “disruptive”technology.

“Disruptive technology is designed to meet consumers needs in a better way but also reduces the cost model,” said Slangen, director of sales and marketing. “We’ll see more of this at Medtrade – not just from us, but from other vendors as well.”

Likewise, Mundelein, Ill.-based Medline Industries is focusing on “new programs and new products” this year, said Tom Tucker, vice president of sales for DME and respiratory. In the spotlight: new scooter and rental chair lines.

“These are new categories for us and we’re devoting a big chunk of the booth to that,” Tucker said. “Even though our booth is same size, there will be fewer products showcased because of the emphasis on the new lines. People already know we have diapers.”

Longmont, Colo.-based Sunrise Medical will be celebrating its 20th year in the industry at the show and plans to mark the occasion by premiering new models that are still under wraps.

“We’re introducing new products across multiple categories around the Medtrade season,” said Mark Liebetrau, president of commercial operations for North America. “We believe that we’ll see substantial growth as it relates to these product introductions.”

Liebetrau also promises that show attendees will be exposed to some “interesting concepts” inside the Sunrise booth this year.

Smaller exhibitors are no less enthusiastic about introducing new concepts to show-goers. Valley Cottage, N.Y.-based Complete Medical is using Medtrade as the platform for its new drop shipping service.

“This is our chance for us to talk with customers face-to-face about it and give live demonstrations of how it works,” said President Seth Klein. HME

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