RT spoke to Dale Tyerman, vice president/general manager, Respiratory Homecare, Puritan Bennett, Pleasanton, Calif, a part of Tyco Healthcare/Mallinckrodt, about how integrated sleep therapy and diagnostic equipment can be beneficial to sleep clinicians and patients.

RT: What are the challenges of opening a new sleep laboratory?

Tyerman: The availability of qualified staff is the single biggest challenge. Beyond that are the operational challenges of getting up and running quickly with quality products and services to meet the large number of patients needing service. And there are always the financial challenges of a growing enterprise, including cash required, setting up billing, contracts, and collections.

RT: How does your Sandman product line address these challenges?

Tyerman: The Sandman sleep diagnostic technology has the largest installed base in the industry, and a large number of technicians and physicians are familiar with our software platform and systems.grams. our intuitive software programs, complemented by the online Coach software assistant for our new Sandman EXpress sleep diagnostic system, helps minimize staff training and facilitates the transition from construction to efficient operations. Sandman EXpress provides a fully integrated, turn-key system that includes state-of-the-art Nellcor oximetry, 20-channel amplifier, simple-to-use impedance meter, and integrated bi-level for titration studies. The efficient design and packaging of the Sandman EXpress system maximize utility while minimizing space and custom construction requirements.

RT: What are the key elements of Puritan Bennett’s total sleep program?

Tyerman: As the industry leader in sleep diagnostics with the Sandman Elite and Sandman EXpress products, Puritan Bennett has a complete line of sleep therapy products, including CPAP, bi-level, and CPAP patient interfaces, providing the sleep professional with a complete solution to meet the needs of their patients, from diagnosis to treatment. Our leadership in the sleep business is a direct result of significant investments in research and development and careful attention to our customer’s needs. The GoodKnight 420 CPAP system, the GoodKnight 425 Bi-Level device, and the new GoodKnight H20 heated humidifier provide the lightest, smallest therapy devices in the industry. The state-of-the-art, small, and efficient blower technology used in our CPAP and bi-level devices is highly responsive, minimizing effort on exhalation and thereby maximizing patient comfort and compliance. Our therapy line is complemented by the Breeze SleepGear CPAP Interface and by the recent addition of our DreamFit nasal mask. Our interface line focuses on patient and provider choice, comfort, and compliance.

RT: Why is Sandman better for patients than other diagnostic systems?

Tyerman: The continuum of products from Sandman EXpress to Sandman Elite provides maximum flexibility for a lab to meet the full range of patient and provider needs, from patient care to clinical research. To that end, our sleep diagnostic systems integrate with our therapy, which allows patients to be titrated on the same device they will use at home. We integrate market-leading Nellcor pulse oximetry with 2-3 second signal averaging to provide accurate, timely information on oxygen desaturation. Only Nellcor offers the OxiMax MAX-FAST forehead sensor, which enables monitoring on the forehead—a site less prone to vasoconstriction than the fingers. The MAX-FAST sensor also tracks changes in SpO2, typically 1-2 minutes sooner than conventional digit sensors.