Uniting to Treat Sleep Apnea in the Transportation Industry

Uniting to Treat Sleep Apnea in the Transportation Industry

Andrew Ray, V.P. Global General Manager of Sleep and Oxygen for Covidien discusses the new innovative initiative they have formed with a company called Sleep Pointe of Wichita, Kansas, which is dedicated to providing Sleep Apnea management programs and services to the transportation industry.

Why did you decide to focus on providing sleep apnea treatment programs to the transportation industry?

The transportation industry is a demographic that has been historically underserved and excluded from sleep apnea treatment because there has not been a solution that is affordable and available to transportation professionals where they work on the road. Sleep Pointe’s focus is on an integrated wellness program containing a complete OSA management program, extensive lab network, and Mobile Sleep Solution Centers combined with the support of en and their industry-leading products, gives drivers the solution that has eluded them for years. Ultimately, by treating this deadly disease, we can improve the quality of life of drivers and help make the roads safer for all who travel them.

Could you give us a brief description as to what a patient can expect when visiting a Sleep Pointe Mobile Sleep Solution Center (MSSC)

Any transportation professional that spends the night in a Sleep Pointe Mobile Sleep Solution Center (MSSC) will find the same level of comfort, quality, and professionalism they could expect to find within any fixed-based sleep testing facility across the nation. In fact, many drivers will be surprised to learn that the MSSC is much more accommodating than the hospital-like setting they may have experienced in prior studies. The MSSC that was recently displayed is a fully functioning two-bed, climate controlled mobile facility with individual bathrooms for each driver featuring a sink, toilet and shower. The tech room area has the capability of monitoring up to 6 beds should Sleep Pointe’s four-bed MSSC be used in conjunction with the two-bed unit. All equipment is state-of-the-art; from the Dell computers that the technicians use to monitor the drivers, to the 32-channel Sandman Diagnostic Amplifiers which provide accurate and reliable PSG recordings to the Sandman Series of CPAP’s and BiLevels. Simply put, the Sleep Pointe MSSC takes the best the sleep industry has to offer and places it in a 53-foot semi trailer deliverable when you need it, where you need it.

How many MSSCs will be up and running by the end of 2008?

Current production time for a MSSC is 6–8 weeks depending upon the configuration. It is our intention to field the requisite number of MSSC units to ensure that we meet the demands of our transportation partners. Current thinking is to field a minimum of 20 units given our current partnerships and forward-looking demand.

Who will staff the MSSCs?

All Sleep Pointe MSSCs will be staffed by trained polysomnographic technicians and technologists who meet all the Uniting to Treat Sleep Apnea in the Transportation Industry criteria for performing sleep studies and interacting with patients as published in the “Polysomnographic Technologists Job Descriptions” presented by the ASSM, APT, BRPT and ASET. In addition to these guidelines, Sleep Pointe MSSC techs will undergo a MSSC orientation and training program to ensure that they are well versed in the complete and safe operation of the mobile facility.

Why did Covidien unite with Sleep Pointe on this new initiative?

When Covidien embarked on its Unite to Treat Sleep Apnea program we began a commitment to address the many shortcomings inherent within the diagnosis and treatment of OSA. Over the last 10-plus years there have been many advances in OSA diagnosis and treatment, however the fact remains that compliance to this treatment has not proportionally increased and in fact has remained flat at around 42%. We therefore recognized that it was not a one-company solution and that we had to unite with other like-minded organizations, who working in partnership could address these shortcomings. Sleep Pointe presented an opportunity to address many, if not most, of the shortcomings in treating this illness within the transportation industry by providing a solution that worked in the real world that these people work in each and every day. Couple that with our product portfolio designed with their needs in mind, and it is simply not only a match with our philosophy but a complimentary match within our solution sets as well.

What impact will Covidien’s sleep products have on this area of specialization?

Our products were designed with compliance in mind and were very adaptable to operating in both the mobile environment but also in satisfying the unique needs of the transportation community. We believe that the combination of the Sleep Pointe Solution coupled with our integrated diagnostic and therapeutic devices coupled with a soon-to-be announced new offering will provide superior outcomes within this important OSA segment.

Is there anything else you wish to add?

Simply this, while it may sound a bit altruistic, Covidien and Sleep Pointe have joined together due to a relentless focus on the OSA patient. We each had to accept both the strength and weakness inherent in each other’s operations and work with a continuous improvement mindset as we focused on this segment. It is because of the people on our teams and our willingness to collaborate that this is working; couple that with the pride that we all feel in helping to support the transportation industry and it is a win for all – a win for Sleep Pointe, a win for Covidien and more importantly a win for the transportation industry.

For more information about MSSC, Sleep Pointe and Covidien please visit:


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