Patients go with the flow

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Over the past 12 months, Ingen Technologies has sold about 50,000 of its OxyView flow meters, but that’s just a drop in the bucket when you consider the millions of oxygen patients in the world, says CEO Scott Sand.

Nevertheless, the recent success has “surprised” him.

“We are not doing a national ad campaign,” Sand said. “We just don’t have the money right now. But the response, wow, this is great. Mostly it is word of mouth.”

So what’s driving interest in the OxyView?

Peace of mind for the patient and fewer service calls for providers, said Bill Goodwin, a service rep at Legacy Home Medical in Clinton, Okla.

“We don’t use it on all of our patients,” Goodwin said. “We just have some patients who have been on oxygen for so long that they don’t feel like they are getting oxygen or getting what they need.”

That’s a key selling point for the OxyView. If a patient feels assured that he’s receiving the proper flow of oxygen, providers will receive fewer service calls, Sand said.

“We are trying to get providers to look at this not as an additional cost but as a cost-saving item,” he said.

The disposable OxyView-Cannula Model 206D costs $5.75. The reusable OxyView, which the provider can rent or sell to the patient, has an MSRP of $24.95. But that price drops to $9 each if the provider buys a 10 pack and $8 each if he buys a 50 pack.

Unlike conventional flow meters, the OxyView is not attached to the oxygen source. The disposable model comes attached to a cannula; the reusable model installs onto the oxygen tubing nearest the patient. That means that no matter where the tank or concentrator is located, the patient can determine if he’s receiving the correct oxygen flow, Sand said.

Ultimately, Ingen wants to sell about 1 million OxyViews a year and boost revenue to $30 million, he added.