Sleep Review interviews Ken Godish, vice president and general manager of SLP; Richard A. Bonato, PhD, president and COO, and Michael R. Clark, director of marketing and sales for BRAEBON Corp; and Ron Fligge, RRT, global product manager, Sleep Diagnostics, at Respironics.
|Ken Godish, VP and general manager of SLP.
In order to effectively deliver goods to the public, medical device manufacturers are faced with the decision of how to distribute its products. Some medical device manufacturers like SLP are choosing to distribute products themselves. Sleep Review recently spoke to Ken Godish, vice president and general manager of SLP, to gain insight into the benefits that SLP is experiencing by distributing its own products.
SR What led SLP to the decision to distribute its own products?
SleepSense® is the brand name that we have chosen for our complete family of laboratory sensors. These products have been manufactured and distributed since 1993. We feel that sensors are a critically important part of diagnostic process.
If the data provided by the sensors is corrupt, even the most qualified scorer using the best equipment available will not be able to fully compensate. SLPs development team is constantly improving our product and processes. We will do our best to keep our customers abreast of this activity. We intend to provide our customers with useful information regarding the importance of using high-quality sensors.
SR What are some of the recently developed products that SLP will be distributing?
We have entered into a distribution agreement with Great Lakes Orthodontics, Tonawanda, NY, to market the strip to the dental community. It has a strong presence in this market and a great reputation for quality and service.
Another device that we have introduced is the SleepStrip®. This product is a disposable sleep apnea screening device that is very easy to use. Flow sensors monitor the patients respiration during the night. The integrated CPU analyzes the patterns to detect and count each apnea and hypopnea event as it occurs. The next morning, the severity score is calculated based on the patients apnea-hypopnea index and permanently displayed on the built-in electrochemical display.
We feel that the SleepStrip can be useful to trigger interest in sleep apnea in the medical disciplines that have traditionally not been active in referring OSA patients to the lab. Cardiologists and anesthesiologists are examples of such disciplines.
SR With these recently developed products and a restructured means of distribution, what does the future hold for SLP?
|(left) Richard A. Bonato, PhD, president and COO (right) Michael R. Clark, director of marketing and sales
The field of sleep medicine requires that companies in the industry change to meet the demands of this evolving and specialized field. Sleep Review spoke to Richard A. Bonato, PhD, president and COO, and Michael R. Clark, director of marketing and sales, to find out how BRAEBON manages to stay ahead of the industrys demands.
SR How has the corporate vision of BRAEBON evolved to meet the needs of the changing sleep industry?
SR How does this vision incorporate the introduction of new products?
SR What effect do you foresee BRAEBONs products having on the sleep industry?
|Respironics recently announced the release of its Alice 5 Polysomnography System, a device that displays and prints physiological adult and infant patient information. Sleep Review discussed this system with Ron Fligge, RRT, global product manager, Sleep Diagnostics, to find out how the Alice 5 simplifies the integration of sleep laboratory devices and the process of obtaining diagnostics.
SR How does the Alice 5 set new standards for data management?
SR What sets the Alice 5 apart from other diagnostic sleep systems?
Clinical research is clearly demonstrating that patients with OSA have a higher risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Respironics has responded to these patients needs by offering the Alice 5 in addition to PTT. This combination offers six total channels of ECG, which provides the sleep laboratory with additional tools to assess these patients.
We are the first in the PSG industry to offer real-time impedance measurements. Typically with any system, you need to, at least in the beginning of the study, assess the quality of the neurology signals by doing an impedance check. During this check, you do not see or record any patient data. This information is available only during the time it is being checked. With the Alice 5, we are providing visual information on the signal quality for neuro channels (EEG, EOG, and EMG), ECG, and oximetry on a continuous basis. The actual numeric values are also available. All signal quality information is now available for every second of the study in both real time (during acquisition) as well as postacquisition review.
We are also trying to make it easier to install and use the Alice 5. Most systems today have at least four cables running from each bedroom to the control room (amplifier, camera, intercom, and therapy titration control). The Alice 5 integrates the therapy interface for all Respironics therapy devices into a direct bedside connection. Alice 5 automatically recognizes the device and presents only the variables that the device is capable of. All control is software based. Alice 5 offers voice over IP from the Alice 5 to the computer. There are no extra cables for the intercom, so we have reduced the cabling to only the Alice 5 Base Station & Network Camera (two cables).
We have now implemented the full 10-20 EEG lead placement layout in our headbox design.
SR What issues or problems does this product resolve?
SR How do patients benefit from the Alice 5?
SR What type of feedback have you gotten from sleep professionals who have used the system?
Everyone seems to believe that PTT will be a valuable tool, and are pleased we have introduced it in the Alice 5. Most of the clinicians I have visited believe that there is a great deal of information in the PTT signal, and they need to continue studying the signal in order to extract the most useful data that is available. There has been a great deal of interest in PTT and our ECG offering from those labs involved with cardiologists, as well as individual cardiologists.
SR How does Respironics plan to propel the sleep industry forward?
SR In what other ways is Respironics responding to the needs of its customers?
We have a dedicated sleep management sales team. This team consists of both sleep sales consultants and technical sales specialists. This group helps customers throughout their decision cycle on equipment, and can offer business solutions tailored to the needs of the customer across all of the sleep products. We also have an internal and external product support group that consists of respiratory, sleep, and other clinicians who offer their expertise 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year to help our customers.
This is a dynamic industry, and Respironics is pleased to offer solutions to our sleep lab customers and to their customers: the patients.