Omhu brings 'excitement' to HME

Thursday, March 24, 2011

NEW YORK - The stylish elements that draw consumers to products offered by IKEA and Apple will soon play a big part in home medical equipment, according to Susan Towers.

Towers, with co-founders Susy Korb and Rie Nørregaard, created Omhu to bring "color, style and design" to a market where many products currently offered "looked like they belonged in a hospital."

"We hope to change the way people feel about aging and disability," Towers said.

Omhu's first product, a cane introduced in December, is "made from skateboards, bicycles and hiking boots," Towers joked, because it uses materials traditionally used in those products to produce a sleek, colorful, lightweight design.

The most commonly-sold colors of the cane include orange, purple and turquoise, Towers said.

"People get excited about them in a way you don't usually see people get excited about these types of products," she said.

Other products offered include magnifying necklace pendants and colorful walker bags.

"There's no doubt there's a market out there," as the demographics shift to include a generation used to stylish choices, Towers said.

Currently, Omhu offers products in places like museums, "groovy design shops" and menswear stores, but Towers plans to work with HME providers to expand availability.