3B Medical launches Aer

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Friday, January 18, 2019

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – 3B Medical is officially competing for POC business.

The company, already established in the sleep therapy market, will start showing and taking orders for its 3B Aer, which weighs in at 4.5 pounds, in February, and plans to start shipping the POCs in March.

“It is a competitive market—there will be at least nine manufacturers of POCs starting in February,” said Alex Lucio, CEO. “What does that do? The pricing becomes softer. These units were significantly higher priced two years ago. If you can anticipate that decline and crunch numbers and work it out perfectly, you don’t mind that competition.”

Unlike its sleep therapy products, which 3B Medical manufactures in China, the company will be assembling the Aer in a contracted facility in Minneapolis, where it now has an engineering team.

3B Medical plans to use its existing sales team to call on provider customers and has no plans to go direct to consumer, not even for cash, as Invacare and Philips Sleep & Respiratory Care did last year and as Inogen has done for years.

“We’ll be strictly working the DME channel,” Lucio said. “It’s not in our wheelhouse (to sell to consumers). We’re a product company and plan to stay a product company.”

3B Medical plans to win over providers with a POC that has several data communication capabilities (4G LTE cellular, GPS and Bluetooth); has user-replaceable sieve beds; and has a bolus of 1,200 ml, 20% higher than the market standard, Lucio says.

“It’s also probably a full inch thinner than one of our competitor’s POCs,” he said. “The term wearable is thrown around a lot, but to be truly wearable, you have to be less noticeable.”

The Aer will be available in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with Europe next on the list, Lucio says.

“We’re about to tackle the regulatory requirements to get us there,” he said.