Sleep Review spoke with Justin Callahan, president, and Steve Moore, director of marketing, for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Laguna Hills, Calif, about the companys development of ever-changing improvements in treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.
Q. How does Fisher & Paykel fit into the sleep medicine market?
A. Moore: At Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, we focus on the treatment side of the obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) market.
Callahan: Our product development has centered around innovative products that focus on improving patient compliance and increasing home care provider efficiency. This is providing us with significant advantages in the market.
Q. What role do you think new developments in technology play in determining the future of the industry?
A. Callahan: As cost containment becomes increasingly important in the market, technologies will continue to look at driving improved compliance and easy-to-use, less complicated products. A good example of this was when Fisher & Paykel introduced the first fully integrated CPAP/heated humidifier in North America. Very quickly, users became aware of the benefits in improving technology to simplify the use of CPAP.
Q. How is Fisher & Paykel positioned to keep up with the constant changes in technology?
A. Callahan: Many of our products are innovative in concept and design. Recent new concepts such as CPAP integration, Oracle for oral CPAP delivery, and auto-adjusting humidification with ambient tracking are good examples. Our research and development and manufacturing teams employ more than 100 engineers, which allows us to be innovative and flexible to meet the markets needs.
Q. How does the company ensure patient comfort and compliance for customers?
A. Moore: Current clinical literature identifies the two largest contributors to poor patient compliance and acceptance as nasal and oral airway discomfort and the patient interface. These are the key areas we focus on with our technology. The patients airways must remain hydrated. We accomplish this with an integrated CPAP device (Model HC220/HC221) that has built-in heated humidification with ambient tracking. If heated humidification is missed on the initial prescription, a stand-alone heated humidifier with ambient tracking (Model HC150) may be added later. Second, the proper mask must be chosen for each patient. We offer both nasal and oral masks. The Aclaim 2 nasal mask is extremely comfortable and offers several unique features, one of which eliminates side-to-side leaks. The Oracle oral mask is a strapless, butterfly-shaped interface that floats comfortably in the mouth, much like a snorkel. It delivers CPAP through the mouth instead of the traditional route through the nose. With the Oracle, we have eliminated the need for head gear, and claustrophobia is not an issue for these patients.