Paid for by SomnoMed
By Neil Verdal-Austin, CEO, SomnoMed
SomnoMed was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in late 2004.
The excitement and energy around the emergence of a new biotech company in the sleep space was enormous. The potential was even bigger than that. However, the pathway to treatment, the complexity of reimbursement and the ability to access various markets were completely underestimated. As hard as it was, the SomnoMed journey had just begun.
Educating dental specialists about Dental Sleep Medicine (“DSM”), running weekend courses and symposiums, creating awareness, and starting DSM societies/associations was relentless work. Building the knowledge, learning by making mistakes and helping to implement DSM into a practice, was the very beginning. At that stage this was a cottage industry, largely un-regulated, fragmented, and incredibly complex. Finding our way, creating relationships, and helping dental specialists to build their businesses, was exciting. SomnoMed was at the forefront of this right from the start.
SomnoMed was at the forefront of this right from the start
At the same time, the product range was evolving as we learnt more and more about comfort and compliance. It became clear that product comfort had a direct linear relationship to compliance and hence the commitment and focus of the company on product design, materials, profile, and the concept of “fit right first time”. This led to the company securing the proprietary b-flex comfort liner material, that enhances both retention and comfort in almost all devices made today.
Geographical expansion beyond Australia and into the US and Germany was next. Very quickly this became 8 countries in Europe, with new DSM societies born in each of those countries driving education and awareness of this patient friendly alternative to CPAP. Today, SomnoMed now trades in 28 countries globally and has treated almost 750,000 patients.
Today, SomnoMed now trades in 28 countries globally and has treated almost 750,000 patients
Ongoing clinical research to validate and prove the efficacy and compliance of oral appliances was foundational to SomnoMed’s journey. Published studies showed that not only were oral appliances effective but that they were also preferred by patients.
Ownership of the manufacturing process began with the crystallization and construction of the main manufacturing facility in 2010.
Today, this remains one of SomnoMed’s proudest achievements. This facility set new standards, new levels of “fit right first time” where oral appliance manufacturing precision and accuracy was first born.
Building teams of people around the world created the industry’s best in class sales experience, operational delivery, service excellence, technical support and commitment to quality.
In the journey described so far, SomnoMed was building the foundations of a long term, sustainable, medical device company. These foundations underpinned the SomnoMed mantra: Treatment Focused, Technology Driven and have positioned the company for future growth.
Since late 2018, SomnoMed has changed.
The company re-visited its vision & mission, challenged the strategic direction and embarked on a new investment phase. This investment started within – with the very people that have made, and will continue to make, this company successful. These people are building a culture – an environment – of true believers that will not give up on our promise to change people’s lives. We change their mother’s or uncle’s, or nephew’s or grandfather’s lives. At SomnoMed we work together as a team that facilitates a bond across all functions and geographies. This bond is made possible through three attributes we seek and love to nurture – Attitude, Passion, and Energy. These are our core “people” values. Fundamentally, our vision remains patient centric, and our dutiful mission is multi-disciplinary in approach.
SomnoMed’s investment continues today, firstly with its people, their careers, and their futures.
This translates into the constant building of all departments across all geographies and all functions. Secondly, investments to enable those very people to become even more successful in the treating of OSA patients.
The need for our role in building networks between medical and dental was obvious but not entrenched enough within our core purpose. That concept became an embodied principle and daily reality through the Medical Initiative. This names, defines and drives this core purpose – to facilitate the relationships necessary for a trusted oral appliance treatment pathway for medical prescribers such that patients come first, and through that, we ensure that we treat more patients more effectively and at the right time.
The future is unbelievably exciting.
SomnoMed is at the forefront of a transformational technology chapter that we believe will change the oral appliance industry. An oral appliance industry that desperately needs that change. An industry that needs to work together to provide greater trust and confidence between medical prescribers and dental sleep medicine experts, greater belief that oral appliance therapy is an efficacious treatment alternative to CPAP for mild and moderate OSA patients and where a greater investment in high quality clinical research is needed.
This clinical research should be well powered, externally conducted, third party managed, have robust protocols, be clinically relevant, be multi center where possible and conducted by leading industry investigators. SomnoMed believes that this research should constantly clinically validate device comfort, quality, compliance, and efficacy. It is imperative that this research is conducted at leading medical institutions and addressing key medical issues, aimed at improving efficacy and adherence of oral appliance therapy for OSA patients.
The technology shift is in the form of a connected device – an oral appliance that becomes intelligent.
An oral appliance that will record objective, all night every night, sleep treatment data for the benefit of all – the medical prescriber, the dental specialist and the patient. True technology that brings all parties closer together through the power of “knowing” – knowing that the patient is in treatment and more importantly, remains in treatment.
SomnoMed is the global, oral appliance industry leader with a dedicated team of professionals determined to bring the most comfortable treatment solution to those OSA patients who desperately need help – help to sleep better, to function better, to live better.
We change people’s lives. Join us on our journey.
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