Skip to Content

Demand for bariatrics remains strong

Demand for bariatrics remains strong

Despite some disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, sales of bariatric products have remained steady during the past year, manufacturers say. 

Navigating disruptions 

The pandemic has impacted the supply chain for bariatric products in various ways, including limiting access to health care and long-term care facilities, restricting access to products and clinicians. 

“COVID-19 has had an impact on all segments of the mobility industry, including the bariatric market,” said Jay Brislin, vice president of Exeter, Pa.-based Quantum Rehab. “With shutdowns, quarantines and decreased facility evaluation capacities, providers and clinicians had to adapt to new ways of seeing clients and delivering equipment. Mediums such as telehealth and video delivery setups have been crucial to get people the equipment they need.” 

Manufacturers are also weathering the turbulence of lockdowns, social distancing and self-isolation, executives say, by responding to increased demand. 

“As a response to the pandemic, more patients are staying home rather than transitioning to the facility setting,” said Courtney Sankovich, director of marketing for post-acute and HME products, at Elyria, Ohio-based Invacare. “As a result, we are seeing growth for bariatric equipment in the home setting – particularly through e-commerce platforms.” 

On the power mobility side of Invacare’s bariatrics business, specifically, the company describes demand for bariatric products as “fairly steady and we have seen a similar trend for higher weight capacity products.”  

Looking for quality 

High-quality and client-appropriate bariatric mobility products “continue to have a large demand throughout the industry,” Brislin said. As a result, Quantum is “highly focused on continued development of new and innovative products for this market segment, along with improving products in our current lineup.” 

 There are several products in the development pipeline, Brislin said, including a new Group 2 Standard Power HD selection and a new Group 2 Single Power HD product set to be launched in the second quarter of 2021. Quantum has also introduced new accessories and options for all its complex chairs “that allow clients to maximize their independence and increase overall functionality,” Brislin said. 

Educating consumers 

At Old Forge, Pa.-based Golden Technologies, demand for bariatric products is “as strong as ever,” despite the pandemic, said C.J. Copley, executive vice president of sales and marketing. 

“We see our retailers continuing to offer customer favorites in our long-standing line of extra-wide power lift recliners,” he said. “We’ve recently redesigned these models to add both comfort and value.” 

To help HME providers educate consumers about bariatric equipment, Golden furnishes free marketing and merchandising kits, social media images and content, as well as webinars and personalized consultation on marketing the company’s line of products. 

“Providers should continuously be looking for innovative products that will add to the quality of life of their customers,” Copley said. “We offer free sales and technical training both in-store and online so that our retailers have a team in place to educate patients on how a power lift recliner can help them recover from surgeries or get better rest or how a mobility aid can help them regain their independence.” 


To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.