Medtrade wrap-up: Politics, demographics, winners

Friday, October 24, 2014

ATLANTA – It may seem like the industry isn’t making any progress on resolving its myriad issues, but that’s not the case, Jay Witter told attendees during AAHomecare’s Washington Update at Medtrade.

“We’re clicking on all cylinders,” said Witter, senior vice president of public policy. “We are in the best position I have ever seen.”

This year brought Medtrade, which took place Oct. 20-23, back to the familiar territory of Atlanta. Although attendance was flat, the show drew 101 new exhibitors and about 1,000 first-time attendees. 

That bodes well for the future, says Show Director Kevin Gaffney.

“There are companies coming in here with cool and unique products and they want to be engaged in the HME industry because they see the demographic potential,” Gaffney says.

That demographic potential includes a 70% increase in those ages 65 and older by 2020, Alan Morris, director of business development for Healthcall, told attendees during one session at the show.

On Tuesday evening, the AAHomecare Stand Up for Homecare reception raised more than $50,000 for consumer advocacy groups.

During the event, held at the Atlanta Metro Chamber, Drive Medical CEO Harvey Diamond, urged attendees to do more to support the industry. He asked attendees to step up their own financial contributions and to reach out to five others and challenge them to become an AAHomecare supporter by contributing $1,000 to the next Stand Up event.

"We care about this industry, we care about this business and we care about the people we serve,” Diamond said. 

Best in show

A panel of marketing experts doled out awards for innovation and technology at Medtrade Fall. Canadian exhibitor Top & Derby won Best Booth Under 400 square feet, while Carex, based in Norwell, Mass., earned the award for Best Booth Over 400 square feet. Stander took home the Creative Concepts award for its camo-inspired theme. Taiwan-based MicroBase Technology’s portable nebulizer received the Providers Choice Gold Award, Philips Respironics’ travel briefcase won silver and Golden Technologies took bronze for its Shiatsu Lift Chair.