Presenting Cellerant’s Inaugural Best of Class
Paul Feuerstein, DMD
This year, the Best of Class Technology Awards have transitioned with Dr. Lou Shuman from the Pride Institute to his new company, Cellerant Consulting Group. The committee and its independence as always remain constant. Since 2008, this group spends each year reviewing and evaluating new products that come to the marketplace. Some have brought novel approaches to the dental community, others enhance existing technologies, and some specific products just continue to excel in each category. One of the realities is that sometimes there was no winner in a specific category because no one product was deemed significantly better than another. In other situations, a new product may not fit into the sphere of categories that are evaluated, while others might require a brand new category. This last point is evident this year as the committee delved into more areas of online practice management technologies. The committee also dug deep and found new products that may be unfamiliar to the masses but excel in their product or service. To quote Dr. Shuman, who chairs this committee, “To be designated Best of Class is a sign that a product has revolutionized, simplified, or advanced its category in a distinctive way. The manufacturers represented here are driving the conversation for how dental practices will operate today and in the future. The foundation for our success in bringing attention to these products has always been consistent: we recognize technology leadership in dentistry without bias and while remaining not-for-profit.” There are details of the process on the website cellerantconsulting.com.
Examples of new companies and categories this year are ZipWhip, HR for Health, MMG Fusion, and WEO Media. ZipWhip, for example, allows an office to send and receive text messages on an existing landline. HR for Health is an extremely comprehensive technological solution to staff management, ensuring the practice owner is following the letter of the law and helping to avoid costly legal issues. Some of the hardware categories were difficult to assess due to a lot of hype in the industry. The committee members work hard during the year doing independent evaluations, many times in their dental practices in real day-to-day situations. They also communicate and often collaborate with each other on assessing the merits and pitfalls of various products. Specifications are carefully reviewed, although keeping in mind that they are not using sophisticated testing equipment but actually testing the products and processes as noted in a true office setting. Due to the timing of the actual voting, which begins in February at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting with winners announced in June, evaluation of products marches on with new products and improvements of existing technologies already being evaluated for the 2017 awards. The Best of Class Awards stem from the educated opinions of well-regarded experts in the field. The current committee comprises Drs. Paul Feuerstein, John Flucke, Marty Jablow, and Parag Kachalia. As with any contest, whether it is in dentistry or America’s Got Talent, experts outside of the committee have their own opinions, and these are expressed to the members. You can be sure that the comments are heard, assessed, and taken into account. After a full year of deliberation, here are the winners of the 2016 Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards.