By Ellen Oliver
Langer Biomechanics provides a broad array of products to keep patients mobile.
The company philosophy embraces the concept of harnessing innovation in order to maintain its legacy of industry leadership. Earlier this year, Langer made a number of changes, including updating its foot orthotic line, launching a new patent-pending dynamic orthotic device called the DynaFlange, introducing the Moore Balance Brace (an innovative balance ankle foot orthosis [AFO]) and expanding its line of engineered orthopedic foam materials.
The company also continued its commitment to educating practitioners and unveiled a new website with a user-friendly customer portal, which allows practitioners to check their orders at their convenience, 24/7.
“We take our leadership position in this industry very seriously. We continue to innovate,” said Jason Kraus, Langer executive vice president.
A mainstay of Langer’s philosophy is its commitment to biomechanical education, which was the catalyst for the firm’s creation.
“Our founders, who were podiatrists, set out to share their knowledge on biomechanics and orthotics with their colleagues,” explained Kraus. “Eventually, they had taught so many practitioners that they were overwhelmed with requests for a source for devices, which led to the formation of the company.
“We’ve been providing education to our practitioners ever since and allocate significant financial resources towards this goal,” he continued. “We’re proud of our commitment to education.”
The topics of Langer’s educational series extend from seminars introducing the basics of biomechanics to addressing specialty concerns.
Langer sponsors symposia across the country, as well. These symposia are delivered and accessible to practitioners as live webinars on the Internet.
A recent Langer education initiative is focused on mitigation of the risks of falls in elderly patients. A free one-hour webinar on this topic addresses balance deficits and gait disorders and presents comprehensive treatment protocols for practitioners to administer. This educational initiative is connected to Langer’s new product, the Moore Balance Brace, a custom AFO.
Langer provides each of its practitioner-clients with a high level of consultative support. The company’s Professional Account Representatives (PARs) are trained in biomechanics and orthopedics, and are available to answer questions from healthcare practitioners and review every prescription.
The PAR team has an average of 20 years of experience in the biomechanics and orthopedics fields. The PARs interact with practitioners to clarify all the details before a product is manufactured, a step that saves time and money if the product specifications are unclear.
“Often, an account representative will notice something on a prescription that requires more information,” said Kraus, who added that these professional representatives also serve as on-the-spot educators. For some of the more complicated cases, Langer clients can request a consultation with its on-site podiatrist, Barbara Pelc, DPM.
“Our relationship with healthcare providers goes well beyond fabricating a brace or device. It’s more like a partnership,” Kraus said. “Our goal is to help practitioners be successful, and we are often viewed as an extension of the practice.”
The trust that is implicit in this relationship is one that Langer fully respects and cherishes, he said.
Langer innovations aren’t exclusive to its orthotic products.
In 2012, the company launched its new online customer portal with 24/7-access so clients can check Langer’s inventory and review customer information, including when an order was received or shipped.
“We recognized that often the lab is closed by the time a practitioner has time to review information. With the customer portal we are providing a high level of convenience,” said Kraus.
Langer also adopted technological innovations to put convenience directly into the practitioner’s office, developing the ScanCast 3D orthotic scanner to eliminate the need for plaster or fiberglass casting.
Kraus explained that a client anywhere in the world can use ScanCast 3D on a patient; within minutes, the scan is received at Langer’s fabrication facility in Ronkonkoma, NY. In addition, Langer has a no-cost business model for clients to incorporate the ScanCast 3D system into their practices.
No matter how end-user information is received, Langer Biomechanics provides exactly what the doctor ordered—whether it be custom-made foot orthotics, ankle foot orthoses, diabetic footwear, DME (durable medical equipment) braces, PPT-engineered foam materials, therapeutic hosiery, or additional lower extremity healthcare solutions.
Langer is leading the way in orthotic and lower extremity care with professional support derived from highly trained experts, commitment to innovation, and superior craftsmanship.
Ellen Oliver is a freelance writer in the Boston area.