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January 2014

Sixty minutes in Scottsdale. Scottsdale, Ariz., site of the 2014 Annual Conference, has a wealth of things to do -- dining, desert exploration, golf, night life and art. But a self-guided, 60-minute walking tour can get you started.

Pardon the disruption. 2014 and beyond will not be the same in the medical device market, healthcare or anything related. From IDNs to individual buyers, economic decision-makers will want innovation/quality/best price on every product. And that's why you should be open to -- and maybe even pursue vigorously -- ways to create alliances with anyone in your supply channel, upstream or down!

2014 IMDA Annual Conference - May 4-6 at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, Ariz., site of the 2014 IMDA Annual Conference, May 4-6

Remote Control. Technology is not only affecting what IMDA members sell, but how they sell it. Last October, IMDA Update looked at one company -- SpotOn Surgical -- whose president believes an iPad can improve communication between reps and the OR staff. This month, we take a look at another virtual selling technology, this one from Nurep.

Don Sizemore's Technology Tools: GPS. Ten years ago, GPS systems were few and far between; now, they are everywhere we turn. They are often built into our cars. They are usually included in all smartphones and tablets. Internet-driven or "connected" devices offer advantages over the "non-connected devices." Since I have both, I thought I would offer my thoughts about the pros and cons of each, and how they relate to travel and safety.

2014 IMDA Annual Conference, May 4-6
Sixty minutes in Scottsdale

Scottsdale, Ariz., site of the 2014 Annual Conference, has a wealth of things to do -- dining, desert exploration, golf, night life and art. With more than 70 public art works dotting the city's landscape, it's difficult to see all of Scottsdale's public art pieces in an hour, or even a day.

The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau says that a self-guided, 60-minute walking tour through downtown Scottsdale will introduce visitors to 10 of the most-celebrated Scottsdale public art works.

  • "Soleri Bridge & Plaza" by Paolo Soleri. Designed by Italian architect Paolo Soleri, the bridge demonstrates the importance of solar movement and features two steel-clad, 64-foot-high pylons that create a shaft of light. The bridge and plaza also feature the largest assemblage of Soleri's world-famous wind bells.

  • "The Doors" by Donald Lipski. What would it be like to stand inside a kaleidoscope? Find out when you venture inside this monumental work created from three 28-foot-tall mirrored panels.

  • "Passing the Legacy" by Herb Mignery. This life-size, Western bronze depicts a vintage Pony Express rider and a contemporary Hashknife Pony Express rider handing off the mail at full gallop, as the "Old West" meets the "New West" in downtown Scottsdale.

  • "Bronze Horse Fountain" by Bob Parks. One of the most photographed landmarks in all of Scottsdale, this fountain is a visitor favorite for group shots. Created by Bob Parks, who owned an art gallery in Scottsdale for 30 years, the art piece showcases the beauty of five Arabian horses as they play in the fountain's water.

  • "Jack Knife" by Ed Mell. This giant bronze of a cowboy on a bucking bronco gives a nod to Scottsdale's Western heritage and the city's official seal.

  • "The Yearlings" by George-Ann Tognoni. This monument to wild horses has become an icon of free spirit in the American West and depicts three bronze yearlings galloping in full stride.

  • "Winfield Scott Memorial" by George-Ann Tognoni. Based upon a historic photo, this sculpture depicts the founders of Scottsdale. Winfield Scott stands alongside his retired Army mule, "Old Maud," with his wife, Helen, seated sidesaddle.

  • "Knight Rise" by James Turrell. This "skyspace" installation frames the sky as pure color and shows "the changing light of the sky, altering what we see with our own eyes." The illusion created by this structure is most dramatic at sunrise and sunset.

  • "Love" by Robert Indiana. Conceived when the United States was consumed by the Vietnam conflict, Indiana's "Love" sculptures became a symbol for peace. The block letters placed two-by-two atop one another is a favorite spot for taking pictures with the one you love.

  • "Imagination Gives Us Wings" by Larry Kirkland. A bird-shaped oculus in the roof of the library traces the movement of the sun as the bird "flies" across the entryway. A 20-foot-long gilded feather is suspended below as if it has fallen from the bird's wing.

IMDA Announcement


Curiosity wanted

Healthcare reform will affect the way in which healthcare providers evaluate and acquire new medical technologies. It already is. Take a look at accountable care organizations, readmissions penalties, and value-based purchasing.

What do you need to know? How can you provide value to your customers and remain profitable?

Bring your questions to the 2014 IMDA Annual Conference, May 4-6, in metropolitan Phoenix, Ariz. Then bring home some answers.

Watch IMDA Update and your mailbox for more details.

At the end of your journey, hop on the Scottsdale Downtown Trolley, which runs year-round from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily and till 9 p.m. on Thursdays. With stops every 15 minutes, the trolley can help you get back to your starting point or continue on to another part of downtown for your next Scottsdale adventure.

Download a map of this walking tour at the Website of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, at http://www.experiencescottsdale.com/category/desert-exploration/.

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Pardon the disruption
By Barry Banther, CMC, CSP

Partner? Strategic alliance? Joint venture? Do any of them make sense for your company? Or should you simply proclaim that you will go it alone. After all, you have had a pretty good run at the market doing it your way!

2014 and beyond, however, will not be the same in the medical device market, healthcare or anything related. From IDNs to individual buyers, economic decision-makers will want innovation/quality/best price on every product. And that's why you should be open to -- and maybe even pursue vigorously -- ways to create alliances with anyone in your supply channel, upstream or down!


Where do you begin? It has been my experience, and that of many of my clients, that the only place to ever start is with your customer's perspective. What do they really want? Do they even know how to articulate it? Your best opportunity to "get the order" will be when you fit into their reality. That means you have to embrace their perspective. But how do you do that?

As the owner or one of the senior leaders in your business, you have to have weekly, if not daily, contact with customers -- preferably, the actual decision-makers. You are not selling or even focusing on your products. Instead, you are listening. Peter Drucker said that the highest form of listening is being able to hear what isn't being said. That will require you to do a lot of listening and a lot of reflecting on what you have heard.

The November issue of Harvard Business Review had an excellent article on disassembling the sales machine. Maybe the way we have always taught our reps to get the buyer's attention and present our product solutions is not the best approach in these market conditions. You should at least be challenging the way you have always done it. And if you are listening -- really listening -- to your customers, then you will know where you need to tweak, or maybe even completely revamp, your selling process.

Despite the disruption in healthcare markets, it is a great time to be in this business. The question is whether or not you and your team are ready for it!

Be encouraged.

2013 IMDA Conference keynote speaker Barry Banther is a trusted business advisor to hospitals, physicians groups, medical manufacturers and distributors throughout the United States. His clients have included Pfizer, Eli Lilly, HCA, HMA, BayCare, Amerx and Mercury Medical. Barry served in the administration of three Florida governors as their appointee to oversee all private higher education. He was elected to an unprecedented four terms as chairman of the Florida State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities. This body of work has earned him the highest accreditation as a Certified Management Consultant by the Institute of Management Consultants and a Certified Speaking Professional by the National Speakers Association.

IMDA Announcement

Spread the word about IMDA

At the next clinical meeting you attend, let other specialty distributors, reps and manufacturers know about your association. IMDA has prepared a simple, one-page flyer describing five benefits of joining the association. Before your next clinical meeting, print out a few, then hand them out to prospective members. Go to "Let Others Know about IMDA" in the "Members Only" section of imda.org.

Remember: IMDA's strength lies in numbers. Help us keep them up, and keep us strong.

His new book, A Leader's Gift: How to Earn the Right to be Followed, will be released by Greenleaf Book Group in April 2014. Visit Amazon.com or BN.com to pre-order your copy.  

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Remote control
Nurep offers providers virtual access to sales rep and support staff

Editor's note: Technology is not only affecting what IMDA members sell, but how they sell it. Last October, IMDA Update looked at one company -- SpotOn Surgical -- whose president believes an iPad can improve communication between reps and the OR staff. This month, we take a look at another virtual selling technology, this one from Nurep.


In today's OR, when circulating nurses have a question for the sales rep, they typically get on the phone. If the rep doesn't pick up, the nurse might call the rep's company and hope someone at headquarters can answer the question. Last resort? The nurse takes a photo with his or her cellphone and sends it to the rep, who picks it up later and gets back to the nurse. "It's really not a process," says Paul Schultz, co-founder, Nurep. "It's a tactic." It's not secure, nor does it help the nurse and surgical team who need an answer on the spot during a procedure.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Nurep has developed a mobile health platform for medical device companies, which allows on-demand virtual support to the operating room staff. The application is initially developed for iOS devices, "given the rapid adoption of the mobile technology among the healthcare and medical device communities," says Schultz. It is being pilot-tested with several medical device companies and several hospitals in the United States, though Schultz did not name them. The application will initially be sold to manufacturers through software-as-a-service-based contracts.

'We are transforming the medical device support model from a one-to-one to a one-to-many relationship.'

Nurep is marketing its application for on-demand remote medical device support to healthcare providers, but at some point, manufacturers could use it to remotely detail new technologies, Schultz says.

Nurep should clear up the communication breakdowns that happen frequently in today's OR, he continues. "We are the only solution that can instantly connect the OR staff with the best rep based on location, availability and connectivity, using our patent-pending communication algorithm." In effect, the algorithm triages calls, so if one rep can't take the call, another can.

"Reps that are offline, or unavailable, will not receive support requests," he says. "We have a feedback mechanism in which, should a rep outside a territory take a support request, the local rep receives a notification. The OR staff has visibility into which reps are available - so they likely will not attempt to contact a rep that is offline.

"We are transforming the medical device support model from a one-to-one to a one-to-many relationship, building a connected network of healthcare providers and medical device representatives," says Schultz. The network is HIPAA-compliant and more secure than consumer products, such as Skype or FaceTime, he adds. "Nurep's end-to-end-point security ensures the highest level of security. We want to ensure we become a secure and trusted network for hospitals to access medical device expertise for real-time operative support."

Phone calls are insufficient for providing medical device support in the operating room, or anywhere in the hospital, says Schultz. "Visual support is necessary in order to provide quality support to the OR staff. Where troubleshooting a specific issue can take hours over the phone, Nurep can address the issue in a matter of minutes.

"Nurep is very focused on the technology aspects of the remote mobile video support. We're developing proprietary features that allow the medical device representative to support their customers more effectively from a remote location, for a variety of medical specialties."

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Don Sizemore's Technology Tools
GPS: Everywhere you turn

IMDA member Don Sizemore of D&D Medical Inc. Goodlettsville, Tenn., scored a home run in his presentation, "Technology Tools" at the 2013 IMDA Annual Conference. Don has agreed to share with IMDA members some of the technology tools and techniques he uses to improve his business in a regular column in IMDA Update. He can be reached by e-mail.


As medical sales representatives, managers, and owners, we all know about travel. I look at traveling as a function of the job, not something I do for the job. There are only so many hospitals, and for most of our companies, that means our territories are large enough to require overnight travel.

GPS technology can make travel safer, but also more dangerous. I want to highlight a few ideas and thoughts that can help you understand the technology.

GPS, or global positioning systems, are these miraculous devices that tell us where we are. They are made of two parts: a hardware device, which reads data from many satellites; and a software program, which uses that data to display the position on a map. The software also lets us set routes, so it can tell us if we are off route or not.

Ten years ago, GPS systems were few and far between; now, they are everywhere we turn. They are often built into our cars. They are usually included in all smartphones and tablets. Internet-driven or "connected" devices offer advantages over the "non-connected devices." Since I have both, I thought I would offer my thoughts about the pros and cons of each, and how they relate to travel and safety.


Smartphone and tablet GPS systems.


These devices offer the greatest flexibility and reliability because they are connected to the Internet. Some car systems are now "connected" to make them more reliable too. You can use your smartphone as a GPS to show you where you are or how to get where you need to go. There is even more than one option as to how you use your devices' GPS hardware.

Most smartphones come with a software program (an app), such as "Maps" on the iPhone, to display our position, etc. Even though Maps comes on the iPhone, there are many other programs or apps that do the same thing with their own set features. I have one GPS app on my iPhone that looks up my contacts and uses the address to set the destination up for me.

IMDA Announcement

December 510(k)s

View a list of all medical devices that received FDA
510(k) marketing clearance in December by visiting the FDA Website.

You might find a company in need of your expertise.

The important thing is that whatever you choose to use, learn to use it. When you really need your GPS is not the time to start learning about how to use it!

Another way to use you smartphone as a GPS is to get on the Internet and go to a mapping Website like www.MapQuest.com or www.Maps.Google.com. While this offers the benefit of being the most up to date, it can be slow if your Internet access is poor. One feature I like about MapQuest is that I can go in and set up and save all of the week's routes; when I need to use them, I just choose them from a list in the app. This eliminates all the setup on the iPhone's small screen. It is a lot easier to do on the larger computer screen and keyboard.

Some of the newer smartphones and tablets even have better GPS hardware and can offer walking directions. Some even allow you to "mark" locations, such as where you parked your car. While I am on that subject, if you go to the airport and park in a lot that is large enough to have section markers, use your smartphone's camera to take a picture of the sign that says where you are parked. When you return you can just pull the picture up to remind you where to look for your car!

Built-in GPS systems

These are usually built into the car's audio system. All of the newer systems provide a way of updating the software or map information. The problem is, it often costs more to update the map data than to just purchase a new portable vehicle GPS device. Some systems require you to purchase a CD-ROM or DVD to update the system. Others require the dealer to upload the new information into the system. A few have USB ports, and you can download the new data from a Website to a jump drive and plug it into the USB port to do the upgrade. Either option requires you to do something and pay for it.

For this reason, most of these systems are using out-of-date map data. In my wife's car, with a Microsoft Sync system, the map data is from 2009 and the information is out of date. It costs $300 to upgrade it. It is, however, safer to have up-to-date information. You can end up on dead-end streets or even lost, because map information changes as construction and road changes are made. This is one reason the "connected "systems are considered safer. The data is always fresh and up-to-date. Some services even mark "Bad" or "Dangerous" areas to keep you safe.

Another thought about safety is to use the Internet to "look around" before going to your destination. When the GPS says "Your destination is ahead on the right," you start looking. Your destination will be easier to locate if you have familiarized yourself with the area. This is done by going to www.maps.google.com and selecting your route. Zoom in on the destination and switch to street view. You will see images of the streets with 360-degree control.

You may be one of the people who say, "I have been all over this state, why do I need a GPS to show me where I am going?" You don't! You might need some of the other offerings most GPS devices offer, such as a help button, which shows you the way to the closest hospital, gas station, police station, etc. I also use my GPS to tell me how many miles I have left to go, and when I am going to be at my destination. If there is a roadblock, I can tell my GPS to re-route me around it, and I don't have to worry about getting lost.

No matter which device you have, I feel that it is always safer to have a GPS than not. Learning how to use it probably accounts for a lot of the safety. Safe travels!

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IMDA Update

Published by IMDA
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Staff

Nichole Glenn: Executive Director (615 )859-2337

Mitchell Kramer, Legal Counsel (800) 451-7466

Mark Thill, Editor (224) 735-3297

 

 

 

 





 

2013-2014 IMDA Board of Directors

President
Hal Freehling, Jr., O.E. Meyer Company (419) 609-1633

Past-President
Tony Marmo, Martab Medical (800) 229-2290

Secretary/Treasurer
Don Reiter, SRC Medical (818) 717-8807 x19

Chairman of the Board
Duke Johns, Medical Specialties, Inc. (504) 734-1171

Directors-at-Large
Bill Carmouche, Medical Dynamics (916) 624-3952
Todd Endersby, Alamo Scientific (210) 543-1300
George Howe, Mercury Medical (727) 573-4907
Bill Schultz, IPV Medical, LLC (760) 212-2769
Don Sizemore, D&D Medical, Inc. (615) 859-2337

Manufacturer Representative to Board
Suzanne Moyer, Precision Medical (610) 262-6090

The ideas presented in this newsletter may or may not be applicable to your particular situation.  Always consult your tax advisor, attorney or CPA before putting them into effect.