Canada’s Innovative Health Care Product Provider

Advanced Health Care Products

Advanced Health Care Products (AHC) distributes some of the most innovative and leading edge home health care and rehabilitation products available in the Canadian market today. The company’s products are supplied by 13 different manufacturers based in the U.S., Europe, and Asia and may be purchased in home health care stores and pharmacies around the country.

AHC’s products are also sold to rehabilitation centres, long term care centres, hospitals, and other medical facilities. Most notably, the majority of the products that AHC carries are not available through any other distributor. “Ninety five percent of what we carry we have exclusivity on,” President Andrew Schwartz shares.

AHC was originally founded in Lindsay, Ontario in 1991, then changed ownership and location when brother-in-laws Andrew Schwartz and Brent Cutmore purchased it in 2007. “We were looking for a company with a solid foundation and a good market,” Mr. Schwartz recalls. “Home health care [is] a safer market than a lot of other environments. And it was something that we could keep in Canada that wouldn’t just be directly outsourced. Our goal was to stay in Montreal.”

Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Cutmore relocated the company’s head office and warehousing to Montreal the following year. The new owners also immediately began building on the company’s existing strengths. Fortunately, AHC’s original owners had already constructed a successful framework on which to build. “They started [AHC] after having worked for various other distributors and manufacturers in the rehab home healthcare service,” Mr. Schwartz explains. “They saw a need for better service and high quality niche products.” Catering to a high end niche market has remained a priority at AHC, and the company’s underlying goal continues to be to supply innovative, high tech products that will positively impact patients’ lives.

AHC is well known for several key brands including Roho, Bodypoint, and Carex. Over the past year, the company has become particularly focused on support surfaces, a healthcare product category that includes beds, mattresses, and related accessories. For instance, AHC has recently picked up a new product line called Primus, which supplies a “very high quality and high end” long term care bed. MOXI mattresses also enjoy strong sales through AHC.

One of the company’s newest, most innovative surface products is the BAM Smart Bed. The leading edge technology features an LTC sensor mat that can be placed under any bed mattress to constantly monitor trends in a patient’s heart rate, breathing rate, and motion.
This data is then automatically sent to the BAM Labs’ HIPAA-compliant TLC analysis cloud platform for processing. After processing, the data is sent back to caregivers via an easy to use app. These caregivers can then easily keep track of patients’ daily vital signs, as well as analyze long term trend data for adverse sleep patterns, resting heart and breathing rate trends, and overall sleep quality. The entire process is so simple and streamlined that it requires nothing more than an internet connected PC, Mac, smart phone, or tablet. In fact, AHC reports that “over 200 million biometric data points have been collected since 2011 — without touching a single person.” As a result, caregivers are able to monitor an entire group of people while simultaneously giving individual patients the attention and time that they need. In fact, AHC insists that the automated documentation saves healthcare facilities hundreds of staff hours per month.

While efficiency is certainly important, patient safety is the primary motivation for utilizing Smart Bed technology. “The TLC Platform is an effective tool for position change validation [and] bed exits for fall prevention programs,” AHC details. In other words, the BAM Smart Bed is a “very high tech, high end product that combats two of the huge threats in long term care and hospital settings, which are patient falls and bed sores,” explains Mr. Schwartz. “This is a next generation type product.”

Even though the BAM Smart Bed is ahead of the curve, the team would like to see this type of technology become standard in health care facilities. “It is vital that all our LTC facilities are up to date on patient care,” Mr. Schwartz points out. “So we are trying to [bring] innovative new product like that.” Of course, innovation is an AHC cornerstone. “We are always trying to be innovative,” Mr. Cutmore adds. “Andrew is always doing research and development. He is constantly traveling abroad to different shows so he can pick up a line that he feels would fill a need in a niche market and be innovative for our industry.”

The team is particularly interested in leading edge surfaces coming out of Germany that are specially designed for patients with Parkinson’s, dementia, and chronic pain. As the baby boomers age, more and more people will suffer from these ailments, Mr. Cutmore explains, and AHC is determined to supply these patients with the best possible products.

The company is also committed to maintaining a top notch team. Dedicated staff members provide complete marketing, sales support, and service in order to best serve the end users of the company’s products. Specific support includes bilingual customer service and Order Entry departments, as well as a Technical Service department to assist with warranty claims, troubleshooting and repairs. The sales team strives to provide personalized service and carefully match the features and benefits of specific company products to each client’s individual needs. AHC also makes it a priority to educate and share information with other industry insiders in order to build relationships and promote innovation that will ultimately benefit the end user.

“What really sets us apart is our rehab product specialists and surface specialists,” Mr. Schwartz shares. In fact, it is the hard work of these sales representatives that has brought the company success, he insists. AHC employs 11 of these specialists across the country to sell product. “They are very highly skilled and highly motivated,” Mr. Cutmore reports. “None of them work out of the office,” Mr. Schwartz adds. “They have to be entrepreneurs and manage their territories. We give them guidelines and templates on how to do it, but they have to take care of it.” With only a few reps in each province, the responsibility is significant. “There could be just one or two people in British Columbia, for example,” Mr. Cutmore points out. “It is a lot of pressure.”

The company provides extensive training to ensure that its sales force is able to provide this high level of service. As a result, the team boasts a deep understanding of both AHC’s individual products and the broader industry. “They are known throughout the industry as being the best trained and most educated,” Mr. Schwartz says. “And they are then able to educate our customers and make using the products an easy, user friendly process.”

The team also credits its suppliers for the company’s success. “We are primarily a distributor,” Mr. Cutmore points out. “We couldn’t do this without the support of really strong supplier relationships.” In fact, maintaining strong relationships is a core AHC value. “It is a family type environment,” Mr. Schwartz explains. He and Mr. Cutmore are family, and many staff members are long-time friends from previous business ventures or from high school. The result is an open, positive work environment. “Brent and I are pretty relaxed and easy going guys, so that is the type of focus we like to keep within the company,” Mr. Schwartz adds. “Whether internally, or with our sales reps across the country, the lines of communication are always open. We can call each other at any time.” Mr. Cutmore explains that, “it is always an open door policy here,” and he insists that having this type of work environment actually increases productivity. “When people are happy, they are motivated to work.”

AHC values its employees and only promotes from within. “We haven’t hired anybody to replace or supervise someone who has worked hard for us,” Mr. Schwartz says. “We always try to help everybody grow so that the whole business can grow.” And the team has its sights set on big growth. “We are exclusively within Canada currently, and one of our goals is to branch out outside of Canada,” Mr. Schwartz reports. With so many segments within the home healthcare industry, he sees plenty of space for AHC. “We are going to try to grow worldwide.”

December 14, 2017, 11:13 PM EST

Critical Thinking

It’s something all of us could do without in our lives. Unfortunately, this crippling beast decides to rear its ugly head when and how it chooses. There is no individual, society, or country immune to its devastating presence. Neither are organizations, most of which have or most likely will have, to stare this beast in the face. Its name is ‘Crisis’ from the Greek word ‘Krisis’, meaning ‘decisive moment.’