Invacare opens up new channel for Platinum

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Friday, September 7, 2018

ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare has joined the growing ranks of manufacturers that are going direct to consumer, in one form or another, with their portable oxygen concentrators.

The manufacturer announced last week that it has launched an advertising campaign to build awareness for its Platinum Mobile Oxygen Concentrator and has begun selling the device to consumers for cash through a new website, www.TryPlatinumMobile.com.

“If someone wants to use insurance, we will guide them to providers, who have been a huge part of our success for a long time,” said Matt Rechin, senior director of marketing communications and consumer marketing at Invacare. “But in supporting our strategy of making the product available to as many people as possible, it doesn’t make sense to close off one channel over the other.”

Inogen has been selling its POCs to consumers for cash and through insurers for several years, and Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care began selling them for cash this summer.

Invacare is working with partners to take calls from the toll-free number on its website, and to staff respiratory care coordinators to process orders for the Platinum and set up consumers on the device by phone, Rechin says.

“We don’t want to sell something and leave them out there by themselves to figure out how to use it,” he said.

Invacare will build awareness for the Platinum and drive traffic to the new website with a multimedia advertising campaign on social media, radio and TV. The company is also leveraging search engine optimization, Rechin says.

“We’re starting slowly because we have a lot to learn in this and we have a large competitor that we’re trying to differentiate ourselves from,” he said. “The idea is to start slowly, be smart with our investments and, over time, as we learn more, increase our investment. This isn’t a one and done.”

While some providers won’t be happy that another manufacturer has joined the direct-to-consumer ranks, Rechin says “everyone benefits” from increased access to the Platinum: the company, providers and, most importantly, users.

“We view our strategy as increasing the size of the pond,” he said.