Michael Farrell

For ResMed Corp, San Diego, the process of research and new product development is key to the respiratory medical device manufacturer keeping its products for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disordered breathing competitive. Sleep Review spoke with ResMed’s vice president of marketing, Michael Farrell, about where the sleep therapy equipment market is heading and the company’s latest device.

SR: What is the latest trend in sleep therapy equipment?
: Lifestyle. Patients are having more and more say in their health care decisions, and sleep apnea is no exception. We have focused on three core trends in our latest line of products, which means that they had to pass the “Three Cs” test: compact, convenient, and comfortable. Our S8™ flow generator is the size of a bedside clock radio, and our Mirage Swift™ nasal pillows interface is not much bigger than a Robusto-sized cigar—these products are really compact. They are also convenient. The S8 is portable from room to room and can even be used while traveling domestically and internationally—they can even be used in automobiles and while camping with 24V and 12V batteries. I have heard of patients using the S8 and Swift on trains, cruise ships, and even hiking the Inca trail. The final area is comfort. Our S8 line has the AutoSet algorithm, the best automatic adjusting PAP system on the planet, and EPR, a comfort feature that can be turned off after ramp or when respiratory events occur outside of physician-prescribed parameters. The unit can then revert to standard CPAP to ensure comfortable treatment, without compromise of clinical efficacy.

SR: How does ResMed spot trends and how does the company respond to them?
: ResMed is focused on the long-term. Our Lasting Results marketing theme speaks clearly to this. We are focused on complete product and service solutions, quality systems in product development and manufacturing, and delivery of reliable and top-quality products. So, in terms of market needs and trends, we focus on the long-term voice of the customer. The complexity comes when you ask: Who is the customer? The answer is multivariate. Sleep specialist physicians and technicians, respiratory therapists, home medical equipment providers, and patients are all our customers. The integration of long-term voice of the customer feedback across this group is quite an art; it includes listening to our key opinion leaders in the field and boiling down to the fundamental current and latent needs of the customer group. The key is execution, which means ensuring we get to market with a reliable and high-quality product before the competition. Our track record of growth indicates that we get this right. I believe our S8 and Mirage Swift products have taken, and will continue to take, this market by storm. We are always looking over the horizon at what is next.

SR: How has ResMed positioned the new VPAP Adapt SV™? What types of SDB patients can be treated with this product?
: The VPAP Adapt SV is an adaptive servo-ventilator that treats central sleep apnea, mixed sleep apnea, and periodic breathing, including Cheyne-Stokes respiration. We have thousands of patients on treatment with this device in Europe and have just completed our US Food and Drug Administration clearance work. This product can literally normalize a complex Cheyne-Stokes breathing pattern in a matter of minutes. Sleep technicians who have watched it work have called it miraculous. The MD/PhD team that created it certainly worked wonders, and now, we have the product cleared for use in our own US market. Finally, there is a one-stop solution for patients who have central or mixed sleep apnea and/or periodic breathing. VPAP Adapt SV is the product of choice—highly technically advanced, yet easy for technicians and patients to use. It will be available to the market in early 2006.

 Kevin Asp, CRT, RPSGT

Keeping patient records secure is a concern for any health care provider, but to be effective, one must also have fast and easy ways to transmit information. Sleep Review spoke with Kevin Asp, CRT, RPSGT, president of Sleep Technology Institute Ltd (STI), Sugar Land, Tex, about how technology, such as STI’s Secure Encryption Envoy, can help those involved in sleep medicine balance the concern for data security with the need for simple data transmission.

SR: What is Secure Encryption Envoy?
It is a network-based solution that provides a means for our customers, our turnkey clients, and our sleep centers to transfer data securely for record scoring with minimal configuration required.

SR: How does Secure Encryption Envoy help STI enhance its services to turnkey clients?
: Not only does this service allow secure data transfer and storage, but it also allows the interpreting physicians access to the raw data from any computer with access to the Internet. The physicians can be at home, log onto the network, view the waveforms, make an interpretation, and print to their local printer in real time.

SR: How is STI able to save money for hospitals that are implementing sleep facilities?
: Starting a new ancillary service such as a sleep disorder center in a hospital requires intimate knowledge of the practice of sleep medicine. As with any specialized service, this requires knowledgeable technical and professional staff, management skills, and promotional know-how. STI provides all of these services from the beginning to maximize the potential for success.

SR: What is the key to a successful marketing campaign for start-up sleep centers?
: First and foremost is knowing your field and what the key services and issues are that need to be addressed. Then staging the information in the appropriate order to the correct target audience is important (ie, marketing to the medical community before advertising to the public). STI has ready templates available to assist our turnkey clients in marketing the services.