ATLANTA – Judges for the biannual Innovative HME Retail Product Awards, sponsored by HomeCare Magazine, have named the top eight products particularly well suited for retailing/caretailing.
The awards are all about promoting and recognizing products that contribute to providers’ bottom lines though cash sales. Like last year, the top eight now advance to an onsite judging round. “We had a lot of excellent entrants this year,” says Kevin Gaffney, group show director, Medtrade. “It was a tough decision, but our judges narrowed it down.”
The Handy Cane, manufactured by the Most Corp, Salem, Mass, made it into the final eight thanks to a design that fosters independence, convenience, and mobility for those limited due to age, disability, or injury/surgery recovery.
“The Handy Cane is a walking aid that looks and functions like an ordinary cane, but also has a built-in grasper to pick up hard-to-reach objects,” says Alec Stern, co-founder, Most Corp, makers of the Handy Cane. “The grasper’s ergonomic design makes it nimble and sensitive enough to pick up a piece of paper or a dime lying flat on the floor, but strong and rugged enough to pick up a bottle of wine or a book. When not in use, the grasper is completely tucked away into a stylish and elegant cane that provides the support and stability required on-the-go.”
Medtrade: Why do you think the judges decided to make your product a finalist?
Alec Stern, co-founder, Most Corp, makers of the Handy Cane: I believe the judges were impressed by the Handy Cane’s unique design and functionality. Like our customers, I believe they could easily appreciate how the Handy Cane would benefit people challenged with limited mobility and desire for independence. I also trust the judges noted the positive reviews we have received by our customers.
Medtrade: What makes Handy Cane different from other canes?
Stern: Again, like our customers, the judges could appreciate the convenience of combining two important functions in one sleek device. The judges potentially valued our attention to detail including designing the handle around the human hand and resulting superior comfort and ergonomics, and the quality of the materials including aircraft grade aluminum, stainless steel, and space age plastics. Finally, we believe the judges found our informative hang-tag, that does not interfere with the trialing of the product and resulting display versatility, important for the retail environment.
Medtrade: Why are retail/caretail products important in today’s HME world?
Stern: Our buyer is the consumer, relative, or caregiver looking for a reliable, stylish cane and/or a strong and versatile reaching grasper delighted to find both in one device. Today, these consumers do research online and shop both brick and mortar stores and online for walking aids and other home medical products that facilitate independence and recovery at home. To make these products available via retail increases their accessibility and, in the case of brick and mortar stores, the ability to touch, feel, and trial the product before purchase. The Handy Cane is great for HME retail given that it applies to such a broad consumer market, addresses multiple needs and benefits patients, caregivers, and family members.
The top eight products will be presented in a retail awards conference session hosted by Jim Greatorex, (pictured) who works in Business Development for the VGM Group. The session takes place Tuesday, Nov 1, at 9:00 am. After manufacturers present their products, voting will take place to determine the top three winners.
A panel of judges, along with audience members, takes all of the entries and scores them based on:
1) Market opportunity/market size and product demand;
3) Price point;
4) Quality/design of retail packaging;
5) Merchandising tools;
6) Marketing campaign, helping the retailer reach the end users;
7) Competitive advantages over similar product/product quality;
8) Industry compatible: is it a match for HME retail; and
9) Training tools programs for in store sales staff.
The eight finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
1) Freedom CPAP Battery from Battery Power Solutions (Booth #1600 at Medtrade)
2) Handy Cane from Handy Cane by Most Corporation (Booth #2166 at Medtrade)
3) KT Flex Reinforced Adhesive Strips by KT Tape (Booth #2153 at Medtrade)
4) Motivo Tour (Walker) by Motivo (Booth #1952 at Medtrade)
5) Go-Chair from Pride Mobility (Booth #1911 at Medtrade)
6) PrimeMedic from PostureMedic (Booth #1671 at Medtrade)
7) SoClean from SoClean Inc (Booth #2057 at Medtrade)
8) MyPainAway Fibro Cream from Topical Biomedics (Booth #1767 at Medtrade)