Guest: Shane Williams
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Qualified with a Diploma Remedial and Sports Massage, Shane Williams commenced his sports injury career with the St. Kilda Football Club in 1984. From 1988-91 Shane was the Head Trainer and PE Conditioner for the Chelsea Football Club. With his skills and background, and having a significant role in the development of the company, Shane provides the technical expertise and leadership to ensure the continued success of Arctic Heat.
Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, Arctic Heat Managing Director joins us today to discuss their company’s body cooling vest and other products which are proven to control body temperature which results in relief from the symptoms related to conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Eczema and Spinal Injuries. Their products are made using a completely non-toxic gel and the fabrics used will not agitate the skin and are latex free.
Health Professional Radio
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and my guest today is Shane Williams of Arctic Heat Proprietary Limited. Shane joins us from the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia. Shane, welcome to Health Professional Radio.
Shane Williams: Thank you for having me Wayne.
W: It’s a pleasure. Now Shane Arctic Heat’s the kind of name that doesn’t tell me an awful lot about what you do. Tell us first of all what geographic footprint you service from your base and what Arctic Heat does. What’s its products and services are?
S: We’re basically Arctic Heat started of supplying body cooling vests, initially for the elite sport area. That demand grew into industry, military, medical, pretty much anywhere where heat stress became a problem. The vest itself is revolutionary in the fabric, we made the design over it was light weight – could be used in any situation. It can be used in a number of ways, so that is where everything started and from there obviously other products developed of the same technology which then led us into the medical world with the range of products we use there now.
W: So Shane are these products your supply right across Australia?
S: Across Australia and overseas, yes.
W: Alright, so the geographic footprint is very big.
S: Well, yes. Not as big as we’d like but we’re getting there.
W: (laugh) Now forgive my ignorance here but I have in my mind a picture of basically a big plastic bag formed into something you can wear that’s filled up with ice, is that close?
S: No, not at all. What we do is the vest itself is a very light weight garment. It’s made of two body cooling fabric and that they wick moisture away from your body and it’s quick dry. In between we sew in pockets of crystal. So initially you soak the vest in water for about 10 minutes, it activates the crystal into a gel then you can use the vest in a number of ways. It’s been activated, ready to use so it’s a light weight singlet shape garment which…
W: I see.
S: Designed as an undergarment, then once it’s in the gel state you can either freeze it, you can put it in the fridge, you can put it in cold water, you can do whatever works.
W: I see and what’s the length of use of this if you’re an elite athlete? How long does this work for once you put it on?
S: Okay. How long is a piece of string? It depends on how it’s cooled. The environment whether it’s hot, whether it’ humid, how hot, whether there’s breeze all those types of things…
W: I see.
S: How much body heat a person omits. But under heat, good hot condition say around you’re early to mid-30’s in high activity you get up to 2 hours wearing out of it. Now that can vary as I say but up to 2 hours. But the vest works by mimicking the body’s natural cooling system – it cools the skin. So it doesn’t affect your core temperature, it stabilizes that. So once you take the vest off it takes quite a period of time again for your skin to get hot before the heat process starts again.
W: I see, now on your website you got caps as well and vests. The caps are pretty obviously, they’re gonna keep your head cool. What are the other products that you’ve got?
S: Well the caps are used widely in the medical for around migraines, those types of things. But also studies out of Europe now show that by cooling the scalp during chemotherapy, hair loss is greatly reduced – our caps are being used for that.
S: For that purpose for chemo.
W: I was aware they used Ice gloves to stop fingernails for being damaged by chemo but for hair loss as well. Alright.
S: Yeah, hair loss as well. Yes, we have a quite a few over to Europe and we have a large medical company in Canada that’s just about to place a good size order because of all the research that’s being done that’s becoming a developing market for us. The other medical product we do is a “cooling kit” that’s for heart attack victims that controls hypothermia when the heart attack victim is very, very ill or perhaps is away and then bring them back. What they do now is tend to cool them for up to 24 hours. This kit is a very light weight mobile kit, it’s the only top of it in the world, like this it’s mobile and it can go from the patient from the time the paramedics arrive right through the whole cooling process, so and it cools as good as efficiently as any other cooling system on the market with a massive price difference.
W: I see. That’s quite leading edge, isn’t it? That idea of induced body temperature changes for heart attacks.
S: Yes, that’s it and they’re looking at it now to troke and some other areas too.
W: Now Shane most of our audience as you know are clinicians, lots of nurses, lots of doctors. What would be your message to them if they’re listening? What’s the take away about your products?
S: Well you know we also have a full range of body wraps like “ankle wraps, knee wraps, shoulder wraps” they’re a very light weight garment. They have the Velcro, they’re the all in one, they can be used hot, cold, whatever. The thing is we’re a small company, it’s hard to get to the greater demographic of doctors and nurses and people who need it but our products have been proven to be as efficient or better than anything that’s on the market and I suppose the thing that sort of …. Us the most is that being a small company people don’t think that you’re up with the cutting edge whereas our stuff is as good as anything, yeah. So we’d like to get across to all the medical people, have a look at Arctic Heat because we sure you’re happy with what you’ll find.
W: That’s an interesting perspective as you can imagine I talk to a lot of suppliers to the health industry. And that consumer issue of either being too big or too small is always a difficult one and it’s a problem at other end of spectrum as well because I talk to procurement officers from departments and they are saying “Well you know we don’t want to place a big order with a company that does have the financial backing to withstand it and it is tax payers money and we’ve got to be fair to the market and so on and so forth.” But it does seem to be an interesting problem that government should have a look at is how you provide access for those companies with good products at good prices that don’t quite fit the mold of procurement.
S: Yeah, exactly. And we can’t afford to put the reps to go on knocking on doors everywhere so we rely heavily on word of mouth. The “the cooling kit” itself is used very, very widely and successfully in the UK. It is a proven kit, so and a little in Australia but once again it’s getting into these areas.
W: Yes. Maybe we can help with a little bit with that today.
S: That would be great.
W: Now Shane in every industry, there are always misconceptions. What’s the misconception about your product that drives you night and keeps you awake at night?
S: Well I suppose the greatest misconception is how it works. People look for say in a cooling vest or whatever, something if they think they’re gonna be at work for 8 hours, they need to have a cooling vest that’s gonna last for 8 hours. There’s no such technology, we explain a lot of that but people keep coming back and expecting that to happen and asking to do that. So I suppose that’s the thing that drives us crazy, most is that people want a magic solution. And also the fact that being a smaller organization, I suppose the thing that annoys us most is we don’t get the credibility that we deserve. And the areas that we service, that’s what we hang our head on how good our product is.
W: Well with a little bit of luck again today, we may have dispelled some of the misconception. Now Shane how do people get hold of you?
S: They can call, they can go to our website which is obviously www.arcticheat.com.au ARCTIC is spelled A R C T I C. A lot of people leave the first C out. Or they can contact us directly on 07 5522 1552. But if they go to the website all those contact details are available there.
W: Now I always get into trouble for this because I get feedback from listeners saying “You didn’t warn us that we needed our pencils.” So fair warning pencils needed, it’s www.arcticheat.com.au and that number again was Australia 07 5522 1552.
S: That’s correct.
W: So now I won’t to get calls.
W: Shane it’s been a pleasure.
S: I hope we get the calls Wayne.
W: (laugh) Shane it’s been a pleasure having you with us today. Thank you very much for your time.
S: No worries.
W: We’ll put an archive copy of this story both on YouTube and on our website. And we’ll do a transcript of it, they will be available at www.hpr.fm. This has been Health Professional Radio with Wayne Bucklar.
S: Thank you Wayne.