Global medical device manufacturer Smiths Medical has entered into a distribution partnership with Sommetrics, a company that develops products and services to treat airway problems that arise during medical procedures and during sleep. As part of the partnership, Smiths Medical will distribute Sommetrics’ innovative aerFree Airway Management System (AMS), the first FDA-cleared external negative pressure aid that maintains a patent upper airway during mild to moderate sedation.

AerFree AMS is a non-invasive, safe, and comfortable device intended to give clinicians a simple method of ensuring that a patient’s airway remains open during medical procedures while the patient is sedated. Smiths Medical will distribute aerFree AMS in select US markets, followed by a global launch in 2018.

“The addition of the aerFree Airway Management System enhances our overall airway product portfolio and we are confident that this addition will add significant enhancements to patient care,” says Ian Harper, vice president vital care at Smiths Medical, in a release.

George Winston, general manager of Sommetrics Acute Care, says, “This distribution relationship with Smiths Medical enables a new and valuable technology to be quickly and efficiently introduced to the airway marketplace, where very few new product categories have been introduced in recent years. Clinician feedback at several professional conferences has clearly demonstrated the need for and excitement about the aerFree AMS as a new airway management tool.”