Close to three quarters of Americans who undergo gastrointestinal surgery for obesity also suffer from sleep apnea, according to ResMed Corp, which recently began an initiative that will help sleep laboratories and home medical equipment (HME) providers build partnerships with bariatric programs. The initiative is aimed at increasing the awareness and recognition of sleep apnea in patients preparing for bariatric surgery, and as part of it, Poway, Calif-based ResMed is encouraging sleep laboratories and HME providers to work with surgeons to screen all gastric bypass surgery candidates for sleep apnea and provide patients with appropriate care.

“The rapid, significant weight loss experienced by bariatric surgery patients suffering from sleep apnea affects their therapy pressures and mask fit over time,” says Robert W. Hart, MD, AASM, a member of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) from Suburban Lung Associates in Illinois.

Masimo Sponsors March of Dimes

Irvine, Calif-based Masimo Corp, a maker of read-through motion and low perfusion pulse oximetry, has partnered with a large charitable organization to promote maternal and infant health. Masimo will become a major corporate sponsor of the Southern California March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign. In reaction to steadily rising rates of prematurity, the 5-year national campaign will promote education, funding, and public support in the fight against prematurity. The campaign goals are to increase the public’s awareness of the seriousness of the prematurity problem and to decrease the rate of premature birth in the United States by at least 15%.

Medcare Uses New Acquisition as BasE of North American Strategy

In May, Medcare, a manufacturer of diagnostic equipment for sleep treatment centers, was expected to close a deal to acquire 100% interest in SleepTech LLC, the Kinnelon, NJ-based manager of hospital-owned sleep treatment centers and developer of Web-based diagnostic measurement and management solutions. With the new acquisition as its base, Medcare will form a North American operating company called SleepTech Solutions, which will focus on the delivery of comprehensive solutions for sleep professionals and entrepreneurs interested in entering the sleep business.

“We will help big players attack the market in two ways: first by giving them the solutions and connectivity they will need to expand their own network, and second, by helping them handle a much larger patient load more efficiently,” says Vyto Kab, co-managing director of SleepTech and head of SleepTech Solutions.

To be based in Kinnelon, NJ, the new operating company, SleepTech Solutions, will comprise Medcare’s existing North American diagnostic equipment sales and customer service operations, SleepTech’s existing network of hospital sleep centers, and a platform of new SleepTech services, which are being tested in SleepTech centers.

ResMed Reports Financials

ResMed Inc’s revenues and income increased during the quarter and 9 months ended March 31, 2004, the Poway, Calif-based company announced in April. Compared to the same quarter last year, revenue jumped 32% to $91.3 million during the March 31, 2004, quarter. For the 9 months ended March 31, 2004, revenues grew 28% to $246.4 million compared to the 9 months ended March 31, 2003. Income from operations and net income for the March 31, 2004, quarter rose to $22.5 million and $15.0 million, respectively, an increase of 31% and 23%. Net income for the 9 months ended March 31, 2004, was $41.4 million or $1.18 per share, compared with net income of $32.2 million or $0.94 per share for the same period in fiscal 2003. Net income increased by 29% over the prior year period.

MedAssets Now Offers Respironics Hospital Ventilators, Masks

Respironics Inc, Murrysville, Pa, has entered into a 3-year multi-source agreement with MedAssets HSCA, St. Louis, for distribution of the Esprit ventilator, BiPAP Vision ventilator, BiPAP S/T-D 30 ventilator, and accompanying masks. MedAssets HSCA, the third-largest group purchasing organization in the country, serves more than 22,000 health care providers nationwide.


The telephone number for Michigan Instruments was incorrectly listed in the April 2004 issue of RT Products. The correct phone number for Michigan Instruments is (800) 530-9939.

Ferraris Inks Deal With Broadlane

Hospitals and clinics that are members of the Broadlane group purchasing organization may now buy Ferraris Respiratory products at special rates. The deal comes as a result of a 3-year agreement with the organization. Members will have access to Ferraris’ new Collins brand technology, the complete line of KoKo diagnostic spirometry, and Ferraris asthma management products. Ferraris Respiratory, Louisville, Colo, maintains data compatibility between the Collins PFT instruments, KoKo spirometers, and the handheld PiKo-1 home asthma monitor.Sunrise Medical Hits Half-Billion-Dollar Mark
Sunrise Medical, Longmont, Colo, recently reached an earnings milestone, exceeding $500 million in global electronic transactions for its North American and European customers. The electronics tools Sunrise Medical offers for its global customers include the company’s business-to-business Web site, electronic data interchange, system-to-system integration using B-Connected software, XML solutions, and a retail dealer Web site through a third-party hosting company specializing in the HME industry.

Airgas Puritan Medical Forms

Puritan Medical Products, acquired by Radnor, Pa-based Airgas Inc in January 2000, will now operate as Airgas Puritan Medical out of divisions within each Airgas regional location. Airgas Puritan Medical will offer a range of bulk and cylinder medical gases, medical gas equipment, and related supplies. Each Airgas Puritan Medical division will include existing Puritan Medical branches within the region, as well as all existing Airgas dedicated medical resources, facilities, and personnel. “Our new divisional brand combines the strength of Airgas with the dedicated focus and heritage of Puritan Medical,” says Kelly Justice, newly appointed senior vice president of Airgas Puritan Medical. “In focus groups with customers, Puritan was a well-recognized brand name, and we are proud to trace our roots back nearly 90 years in the medical gas field.” Overall, Airgas Puritan Medical will leverage more than 150 medical gas fill plants, including 35 medical-only fill plants, and a distribution network of more than 600 branches and 2,500 delivery vehicles. There will be no consolidation of facilities or people, according to Justice.

FDA OKs CHAD’s Sage Device

In May, CHAD Therapeutics Inc, Chatsworth, Calif, received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its new Sage™ oxygen therapeutic device. Sage is the first in a planned family of oxygen therapeutic devices that use CHAD’s proprietary technologies to sense a patient’s movements and automatically adjust the rate of oxygen delivery to reduce the risk of desaturation as activity increases. “Combining the industry’s first truly dynamic delivery technology with the proven oxygen sensor technology in our Oxymatic® 400 series conserver, CHAD’s new Sage oxygen therapeutic device addresses the common problem of oxygen desaturation, which causes a patient to feel weak and out of breath when activity increases, and maximizes patient ambulatory capability,” says Earl Yager, president and recently appointed CEO. Formerly president, CFO, and secretary of the company, Yager succeeds Thomas E. Jones, who was CEO since 1998 and who will remain as chairman of the board. Tracy Kern, cost accounting manager since joining CHAD in January 2003, has stepped in as CFO.