The Growing Trend: Patient Warming
UK temperature management market hots up
The manufacturer of the world’s leading patient temperature management system, Bair Hugger® therapy, has renamed its UK sales & marketing subsidiary. On Target profiles Arizant UK Ltd.
The competitive field of patient temperature management systems in the UK is to undergo some cosmetic surgery of its own this month, with the name change of its leading player. Actamed Ltd., which has distributed the world’s major temperature management brands to the UK market for almost 15 years, has been renamed Arizant UK Ltd. The move cements Arizant UK’s standing as a specialist provider of temperature management systems, and is the final stage in an investment programme by global parent Arizant Inc., which invested in Actamed as a 25% shareholder six years ago and bought the company outright in 2004.
The Arizant name may currently appear unfamiliar to the UK market, but its flagship product has immediate recognition and widespread usage. Think of patient temperature management, and it’s highly likely that you’ll think of Bair Hugger therapy. By association, you’ll also be thinking of Arizant, the innovative US-based company that invented the brand, created the market and continues to develop it today.
The Bair Hugger system is the original forced-air warming product line and has helped Arizant lead the way in this growing sector. In fact, patient temperature management is now very much established as an important healthcare category and is clinically proven to improve patient outcomes for the areas in and around surgery.
The repositioning of Actamed as Arizant UK Ltd. is much more than a cosmetic name change. It crystallises the company’s transition from a distributor of surgical products that included, but was not exclusive to, temperature management products, to a dedicated provider of temperature management solutions.
Furthermore, it enables the company to build on the rich heritage of the Arizant brand, which is driven by a philosophy that continually strives for improvements in the quality of patient care through creativity and innovation.
Such innovation has seen Arizant develop a specialised product portfolio with true depth, encompassing patient warming systems, blood and fluid warming devices, temperature monitoring equipment and cooling systems.
These are exciting times for Arizant UK and its customers. Later this year, the company plans to launch the Bair Paws patient adjustable warming system, which features a unique single-use warming gown that can be used throughout the perioperative process to provide comfort or clinical warming. The Bair Paws system is currently available in the US and Canada and is due to be introduced in the UK this summer. Likewise, a cooling product is also in late-stage development.
These products are all part of Arizant’s wider objective to eradicate the negative effects of hypothermia on more than 50 million surgical patients globally each year. Studies published in the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrate that patients who have been warmed may enjoy better health outcomes than those who haven’t.
Despite this, current data show that only about 30% of patients at risk of hypothermia, and the associated adverse outcomes such as an increased rate of wound infection, are actually being warmed. The challenge to improve the quality of life for the remaining 70% of patients provides Arizant with a real impetus to promote the value of patient temperature systems for health outcomes and to continue to innovate in its field. This, in turn, makes working for Arizant UK in such a dynamic market an attractive and rewarding proposition.
Arizant UK currently has 50 employees, around half of whom operate in sales and marketing. The company is justifiably proud of its reputation as an innovator and remains determined to enhance its position as an organisation that not only leads the market but, more crucially, shapes it.
Arizant UK achieves this through a commitment to speciality, rather than diversity. “We are specialists in the area of temperature management,” says Bob Buehler, Managing Director of Arizant UK Ltd. “Our portfolio is about depth. This gives us an opportunity to understand better how we can help our customers in our area of speciality.”
People helping patients
With this in mind, what kind of employee would find Arizant an ideal match? “An individual who is attracted to being a specialist would find a good home here,” says Buehler. “Of course, there are selling skills that every employer looks for in its sales force, and Arizant is no different.
But in addition, we look for individuals with a strong clinical background who can communicate as a specialist with our customers. This helps them convey why more people need to be warmed, and what this does for health outcomes. We want to help our customers understand that clinical story.”
Arizant UK’s key customers work primarily in anasthaesia, or as sisters and theatre managers in and around the surgical arena.
Arizant provides in-depth training for all employees, and has a group of clinical support specialists that not only develop the knowledge of its sales team but also focus on training external customers. This training is both product-based and clinical research-based.
The transition from Actamed to Arizant UK is a milestone for patient temperature management in the UK. Historically, Actamed has earned a strong reputation for high-quality customer service and products. This reputation is set to be further enhanced by the innovative, focused and forward-thinking culture of the Arizant brand.
“Arizant UK is the leader and specialist in patient temperature management,” says Bob Buehler. “The benefits of maintaining normothermia are significant and enable patients to have better outcomes, including fewer surgical site infections. We want to develop products that accelerate the impact of this important category of healthcare. So if you’re interested in developing and selling game-changing products, talk to Arizant UK.”