DALLAS – The New Product Pavilion Awards, sponsored by HomeCare Magazine, came down to an extremely close vote two weeks ago on the final day of Medtrade 2023.
Attendees at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas ultimately tapped the Miracle Mobility 4N1 Electric Walker Wheelchair (pictured) from Miracle Mobility, Clearwater, Fla., as the New Product Pavilion Gold Award Winner. Medtrade Monday sat down with Dan Guthrie, CEO of Miracle Mobility LLC to learn more about the company and the 4N1.
Greg Thompson, editor, Medtrade Monday: What are the origins of the company?
Dan Guthrie, CEO, Miracle Mobility: The company was started in 2018. Prior to that, I was exposed to the medical equipment industry around 2014, and I saw an incredible need. Our tagline is ‘leading innovation in medical mobility.’ We’re trying to bring innovative products to the marketplace that allow consumers that freedom to move about. Our product is easy to transport and it’s a quality product. If you look at our Google reviews, we have five-star Google Reviews.
Thompson: What were some of the reactions you received at Medtrade?
Guthrie: Attendees really responded to the light weight. The biggest hot button for us was also the four-in-one aspect of the Miracle Mobility 4N1 Electric Walker Wheelchair. It’s kind of like a swiss army knife for mobility aids. It can be used as a traditional standard rollator, but because of the legs that swing out, it can also be used as a lightweight transport chair—so that’s the second function.
The third function is it has a power controller on the hand grips on the back of the chair. There’s a thumb pad. All you do is rest your thumb on the pad and it gives power assist to push on the rollator or the transport chair forward. Think of an 80-year-old lady taking care of her husband. Her husband weighs let’s say 180 pounds. Well after 100 feet, she gets tired of pushing him. So with the power assist push, all she does is rest her thumb on that thumb pad, and the rollator goes forward. All she has to do is guide it. It makes it easy for someone to push someone in a transport chair.
If you’re an 80-year-old lady at an assisted living facility or nursing home, and it’s a long distance from your room to the cafeteria, you get tired. You can still walk, so you use the rollator. You walk a little bit and get tired. So all you do is turn around, sit in the chair, turn the joystick on, and you can use it like a traditional power chair. Overall, attendees warmly received us. They said that our pricing was good and they loved the innovation of the four in one.
Thompson: Why do people like foldable electric wheelchairs?
Guthrie: One reason is a lot of consumers don’t want that trailer hitch adapter on the back of their car. They don’t want to modify their vehicle. What’s wonderful about these foldable chairs is that they are lightweight and they fold and fit in the back of a trunk. These things fold in a second. They are lightweight, portable, easy to use, and manageable. It’s just a better mobility aid than those 300 pound center-drive electric power chairs.
Thompson: What specifically caught your attention during your initial research?
Guthrie: I purchased a study, examined the data, and I learned that foldable electric wheelchairs were really going to take off, partly because they fold easily, are easy to transport, and they are better than traditional scooters.
Thompson: What type of growth is being predicted?
Guthrie: If you look at the projected growth, it’s expected to almost triple in sales from 172 million to over 443 million within seven years. Some of the reasons for this growth are because of better quality that’s coming out of China, and Baby Boomers are hitting 76 years old.
Thompson: Is it officially time to believe the Baby Boomer hype?
Guthrie: Baby Boomers are 70 million strong. According to other studies that I’ve read, one in three are expected to need mobility assistance in the next seven years. Add to that life expectancy. People are reaching into their 80s. They are living longer, and with one out of three needing mobility aid, it just makes sense that there’s going to be huge demand.
Thompson: How do you view your competition?
Guthrie: This category is not dominated by one specific player. If you look at that pie chart, you can see that there is no major brand in the United States. Everybody is basically two percent, three percent. So it’s highly fragmented from the brand standpoint. A lot of the sales are done online—almost 60 percent.
Thompson: What made you want to pursue independent / regional DMEs at Medtrade?
Guthrie: I’m not in that channel, and I wanted to get into it. I’m passing up 40% of the entire category by not being in the DME channel.