The Silicon Review
“3B is unique inasmuch as we focus on three distinct product areas: sleep, oxygen, and disinfection.”
The medical device industry is a heterogeneous, innovative, and dynamic sector. Successful healthcare delivery depends both on the availability of medical personnel and health technologies. Medical devices are an important cog in the healthcare delivery system. They equip health service providers with the necessary tools to perform their job of providing quality healthcare effectively. Medical device companies play a vital role in the life science industry by developing new technologies to match unmet medical needs across both established and emerging healthcare markets. The winners in the medical device industry will be those who get to market first with a product that works — and keeps working.
3B Medical, Inc. is a leader in the design, development, and distribution of medical devices, consumer products, and related accessories that predominantly focus on disinfection, sterilization, and sanitization as well as on the treatment of chronic respiratory conditions such as sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The firm produces a wide range of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices and masks. Its line of CPAP masks are considered among the most comfortable masks available in the market. Also, 3B’s Lumin disinfecting sanitizer is a proven lab-tested weapon in the fight against the COVID-19 virus and many other viruses and bacteria. 3B’s Lumin Wand is the only portable, innovative, and compact UVC sanitizing wand in the market, with publicly available third-party test results proving it can eliminate 99.9 percent of germs and harmful bacteria in just seconds.
3B Medical, Inc. was incorporated in 2011 and is headquartered in Winter Haven, FL.
To highlight and further understand what 3B Medical, Inc. stands for and seeks to explore in this segment, I sat down with Justin Smith, who serves as the company's Chief Executive Officer.
Below is an excerpt.
Have you always been passionate about the healthcare industry? Tell us what inspired the foundation of 3B Medical, Inc.
3B Medical was founded by Alex Lucio, a serial inventor with numerous patents on award-winning products, and Tom Thayer. Tom's wife was the first patient and the inspiration for the formation of the company. Anne Thayer suffered from pulmonary fibrosis and had a terrible time adjusting to CPAP therapy. Alex believed that he could develop a better system that would allow millions of patients to have a restful night's sleep. Alex developed our first CPAP interface, and from there, the company just took off and grew organically with every incremental product we developed.
Q. When it comes to longevity, 3B Medical, Inc. has it. I find it unique that an organization has what it takes to continue to offer treatments for sleep-disordered breathing, etc., for 10 years supplying medical equipment. My question to you is, how did your company continue to adapt?
Innovation has always been in our DNA. 3B Medical is a little unique in that we encourage every employee in every department to contribute new ideas. If the company acts on a suggestion, the employee is recognized, and the idea may or may not be commercialized. Because the company was started outside of the existing respiratory space, it has always approached product development with a willingness to be different and rethink how things have been done. We believe many companies rest on their laurels and generally oppose attempts to think outside the box and develop innovative solutions. 3B Medical is different. In fact, one of our product ideas originated with a tech support associate and another from a customer service representative. We are always looking for outside-the-box fresh ways of rethinking to come up with something disruptive and truly innovative.
Q. How uniquely do you serve your clients' needs, given that 3B Medical is a leading developer, manufacturer, and distributor of medical equipment?
In business, as in life, there is never a one size fits all solution. In the current CPAP shortage, for example, we developed one program for very small DME providers and a different program for large providers. We have customized API for data integration with multiple companies and have always expressed a willingness to earn a customer's business by offering exceptional service and customized solutions.
Q. What can you tell us about your line of CPAP, Auto-CPAP, and Bi-Level devices?
All of our devices are full-featured. Our devices are integrated into our cloud-based patient management platform. Because sleep apnea devices must report patient compliance data for reimbursement, 3B Medical offers more ways of communicating that compliance data. We offer 4G LTE Cat M1 cellular, WiFi, QR Code, IVR, and SD card. This month we launched our new platform, the Luna G3. Our sleep products division is one of the fastest-growing parts of our business.
Please share a short overview of your patient management portal, iCodeConnect, and your newest product, the Lumin.
iCodeConnect is a cloud-based patient management system. Our devices upload patient sleep data nightly to iCodeConnect. The platform was built from the ground up with an easy-to-use Application Programming Interface (API). 3B Medical is unique because we encourage third-party push and pull of data into iCodeConnect at no charge. Other companies charge significant integration fees. iCodeConnect is completely free and requires almost no training. We think it is the most intuitive and easy-to-use platform on the market.
Lumin is a family of disinfection products. Next quarter, we will introduce Lumin Office, a unique product designed for businesses to sanitize phones and tablets quickly. The Lumin for home use is getting a cosmetic refresh next quarter, which has a much more modern and high-tech look. Our Lumin Wand launched last quarter and is likely the strongest handheld UVC product selling into the consumer space. In other words, our Lumin line of disinfecting products will continue growing in leaps and bounds.
Q. How did COVID-19 impact your business?
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, and 3B Medical is a respiratory products company. As you might expect, the pandemic created a huge surge of demand for most of our products. 3B is unique inasmuch as we focus on three distinct product areas: sleep, oxygen, and disinfection. The pandemic created huge demand across both the disinfection product line and the oxygen product line and drove top-line growth of over 70 percent.
Q. Let's talk about your team of experts and their role at 3B Medical, Inc. How did you form your dream squad, and how unique is it?
Interesting question, 3B is truly a diverse and eclectic team of people. Our team includes engineers, clinicians, and business people. From inception, 3B Medical was able to cobble together a pretty creative group of people. For example, one of our U.S. patents names a technical support associate as one of the inventors, and another includes our Director of Clinical Education as the lead investor. In larger firms, the product generation starts and remains in engineering. At 3B, the floor is open to any idea from any employee in any position. We even hold contests to award the best new product design concept for keeping everyone thinking creatively about product ideas.
Q. Can you provide us with one or two case studies describing the challenges your clients were facing and how did your solutions help them overcome those challenges?
A good example of this might be the CPAP shortage our industry is facing. When one of our competitors faced an FDA recall, our entire industry had to deal with significant shortages. 3B Medical surged production to try and meet demand. Within a few weeks, we were also able to unveil a mask-fit smartphone app to allow patients to select a mask and get sized correctly. We used the smartphone app as one of the building blocks to a program called 3B2Go, which allowed a DME to pull machine inventory from our central inventory, have it set to a patient's prescription, and drop-shipped direct to the patient. This entire program was built out in less than four weeks, which speaks to 3B Medical's major strength, the ability to pivot and adapt to change extremely quickly to meet changing needs in the marketplace.
Q. What new endeavors is 3B Medical currently undertaking?
We are continuing to work on a very robust new product pipeline and enhancing connectivity options across our entire pipeline. We also have a lot of internal restructuring to accommodate continued growth as 3B Medical anticipates continuing year over year growth, doubling our employee count each year.
Q. How do you plan to transform your company into a future that is unfolding before you?
3B Medical has plans to disrupt the technology in many of our spaces. I cannot share those ideas with you, but I can say that our growth and strategy always revolve around developing new products. We have a lot of innovation coming in all three of our product spaces: disinfection, sleep therapy, and oxygen therapy.
The Visionary Leader at the Helm of 3B Medical, Inc.
Justin Smith serves as the Chief Executive Officer of 3B Medical, Inc. He is directly responsible for executive management of 3B Medical and for charting 3B Medical's strategy to position the company as a leader in the sleep, respiratory, and disinfection product space. Before joining 3B Medical, Justin held senior leadership roles in a number of private equity portfolio companies. Prior to that, he worked on the healthcare investment banking team at Bear Stearns and the healthcare investment team at ComVest Partners, a private equity firm with over $4B under management.
Mr. Smith graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He then served in the United States Air Force as an Engineering Officer at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute.