American IV had been in business for years before taking operations worldwide, dropping the nationality from its name, and embracing the moniker AIV Inc in its place. The Hanover, Md, company focuses on supporting a hospital’s clinical engineering department with engineered and manufactured replacement parts, accessories, and specialized repair services. AIV is in the business of medical device repair, including pulse oximeter sensors, fetal monitoring transducers, and intravenous pumps, and the sale of related parts and accessories, such as pulse oximeter extension cables, replacement batteries, power cords, and recertified parts. Richard Stacey, COO of AIV Inc, spoke to 24×7 about the company and the world in which it exists.
24×7: What is AIV’s biggest business section—repair, parts, or service?
Stacey: Repair generates the most business for us, not surprisingly. Our focus on clinical engineering is a natural fit for our specialized repair services. Our parts business, while not insignificant by any means, falls naturally out of our repair business and allows us to serve those who decide to conduct repairs themselves.
24×7: What is the newest market AIV has entered?
Stacey: Lately, we have had a lot of inquiries from equipment service providers in the home health care market. As the number of inpatient stays decreases, there is an increasing amount of hospital equipment being used at home, and an increased need for a support partner that has a lot of experience and deep expertise with patient care equipment. We are very excited about these opportunities.
24×7: What trends can you see affecting the way hospitals use equipment?
Stacey: I see the continued spread of cost containment efforts forcing hospitals to stretch the service lives of their various pieces of equipment. The cost of new equipment is one of the fundamental drivers of the double-digit increases we have seen in health care spending as a percent of GDP. As we all know, this is not sustainable. Hospitals are going to have to find a way to keep capital spending under control while maintaining a very high level of patient care. Taking better care of existing equipment will help drive down this spending, and I expect to see a lot of interest in how biomeds can help their facilities with this.
24×7: What does your company have to adapt to in the changing hospital environment?
Stacey: For us, the changing role of biomeds is our biggest challenge. Specifically, we are seeing the convergence of that traditional role with facilities management and IT. The face of our customer is changing, and with that come different approaches and different expectations. It has been like getting to know our customers all over again. Fortunately for us, we have always had great relationships with biomeds, and that has helped us adapt.
24×7: Is there a way biomeds can identify AIV parts, other than by the label?
Stacey: Because we repair devices and sell parts to be used in the repair process, we really try not to make our parts look or act different. In this context, different can be bad. We try to stand out, therefore, in our service. You might not be able to tell an AIV part from an OEM part, but you will remember the follow-up call, the response to complaints, or the ease with which you can call and order a part from AIV.
24×7: What are the benefits of customers using AIV as opposed to the OEM?
Stacey: OEMs excel at innovation. They focus on introducing the next technological breakthrough. AIV excels at service. We focus on helping biomeds maintain and repair innovative equipment quickly and in a cost-effective way. Given the length of time a typical piece of equipment remains in service after the initial sale, having a partner focused on servicing the current model instead of introducing the latest model would seem to be of far greater benefit to a facility.
24×7: Is there added difficulty in supplying parts as a non-OEM?
Stacey: We focus on delivering replacement parts to be used in the repair and maintenance of patient care equipment. It is not a side job for us. Given that, we don’t have much difficulty in actually supplying the parts our customers order. We do, however, from time to time fight the perception that we’re inferior simply because we’re an aftermarket vendor. The truth is that AIV has in place much of the same infrastructure as OEMs in terms of product quality. We are registered to ISO13485, the international standard for medical device manufacturers, and with the FDA as a manufacturer of Class II medical devices. Our management team includes individuals with very deep expertise in design, manufacturing, and quality control gathered over decades of time spent in the medical device and other industries. In that sense, we are very much an aftermarket OEM.
24×7: Where does the idea for something like the PowerMATE come from?
Stacey: We get ideas like the PowerMATE by getting out of the office and not stopping just at the trade show booth. We spend a lot of time with our customers in their own environments, talking about their issues and other pain points. There is just no substitute for talking to a biomed while he or she is on the job.
24×7: Is there anything else you would like readers to know about AIV?
Stacey: AIV was founded by an engineer, and we have maintained an engineer’s bias toward detail and technical expertise. This heritage has helped us maintain a fundamental understanding of the challenges our customers face every day. We know what it’s like to have too much equipment to fix and not enough time to fix it. In a sense, our company seeks to alleviate the pain with which we have been all too familiar.
Zac Dillon is associate editor of 24×7. Contact him at