In brief: Outdated tech a pain for wheelchair users, NSM makes buy

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Friday, April 27, 2018

YARMOUTH, Maine – Nine out of 10 wheelchair users in the U.S. experience pain as a result of their device, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by ComRes for the Toyota Mobility Foundation, polled wheelchair users in five countries.

In November, the foundation launched the $4 million Mobility Unlimited Challenge to change the lives of people with lower-limb paralysis with “game-changing” technology.

"This research expresses the urgent need for innovation in this area,” said Julie Ann Burandt, global strategy and communications manager, Toyota Mobility Foundation. “It's surprising that with all of the technology we have today, we still have people in constant pain as a result of their mobility devices. The comments we are receiving through social media show the kinds of developments that people want to see and we hope the Challenge will result in genuinely life-changing technologies."

According to the study, 50% of users experience back pain at least once a day, 29% experience shoulder pain at least once a day, and 28% say they constantly experience back pain.

Getting around

The study also found that 39% of U.S. wheelchair users report needing assistance travelling to destinations, and 31% have been unable to find an accessible toilet.

NSM makes ‘special’ buy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has acquired Chattanooga-based Professional Rehab & Mobility. The deal, which also includes locations in Knoxville and Kingsport, allows NSM to expand its reach throughout Tennessee. “Tennessee is home to both our corporate headquarters in Franklin, and our operations center in Chattanooga, making this acquisition particularly special to NSM,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO, in a press release. Professional Rehab was launched in 2003 by respiratory therapists Theresa Crump and Vickie Jarrell. It sold its respiratory and DME segments and rebranded as a mobility focused company in 2017. “NSM’s client-focused approach was a good match for our team,” said Crump, co-owner. “We are excited to bring our community of clients the industry-leading resources NSM can provide.”

Inspire Medical Systems sets terms for IPO

MINNEAPOLIS ­– Inspire Medical Systems plans to raise $75 million by offering 5 million shares at a price range of $14 to $16 as part of an initial public offering that it announced earlier this month. Insiders plan to purchase $15 million worth of shares in the IPO, according to Nasdaq. Inspire Medical Systems, which plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol INSP, makes FDA-approved neurostimulation technology that provides treatment for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. It generated $29 million in sales for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2017.

Aeroflow earns local honor

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Aeroflow Healthcare has received the Asheville Area of Commerce Sky High Growth Award. The award is given to 28 local businesses in recognition of their contribution to the local economy. “Aeroflow’s ongoing commitment centers around the three Cs: customers, coworkers, and community,” said Casey Hite, Aeroflow president and CEO, in a press release. “By investing in our staff, we’ve seen substantial growth from motivated individuals who are happy to be here to provide the highest quality of care possible. This award is completely in line with our corporate objectives to give back to the local community in the flourishing city we love.” Aeroflow employs more than 200 people and regularly gives back to the community, including through donations to the local foodbank.

Tandem targets Australasia

SAN DIEGO – Medical Device maker Tandem Diabetes Care has inked distribution agreements with Australasian Medical & Scientific Ltd (AMSL) and New Zealand Medical & Scientific Ltd (NZMS) to distribute Tandem’s t:slim X2 Insulin Pump in Australia and New Zealand, respectively. “Partnering with key international distributors furthers our mission to expand available insulin pump choices for people with diabetes worldwide,” said Kim Blickenstaff, president and CEO of Tandem Diabetes Care. “AMSL and NZMS have significant experience introducing a variety of diabetes-specific products to patients and healthcare providers in Australia and New Zealand, and we look forward to working with them to bring the t:slim X2 Insulin Pump to the communities they serve.”

In February, Tandem submitted a medical device license application to health Canada to market its t:slim X2 Insulin Pump with Dexcom G5 Mobile continuous glucose monitoring integration.

Sleep patients have their say

WASHINGTON – Sleep apnea patients and their family members will share perspectives on living with the condition with Food and Drug Administration regulators, drug and medical device developers, and researchers, according to a release from the American Sleep Apnea Association. The AWAKE Sleep Apnea Initiative will collect patient and caregiver experiences as they relate to diagnosis, impact on daily life, symptom management, and treatment expectations through an online survey. A meeting with FDA officials is scheduled for June 8.

Home Oxygen Company clears TPE

MODESTO, Calif. – Home Oxygen Company has cleared the first round of review for the Targeted Probe and Educate program, the company announced April 25. “This is a collaborative effort between internal and external teams, resulting in compliant files,” said Andrea Ewert, CEO. “We continue our process for success despite the obvious burden.” Noridian Healthcare Solutions, the DME MAC for jurisdictions A and D, selected Home Oxygen Company’s CPAP claims for the TPE program earlier this year. As part of the program, the MACs review 20 to 40 claims per provider, per item or service, per round, for a total of up to three rounds of review. Previously, Home Oxygen Company had received a 12-month reprieve from Noridian for widespread pre-pay reviews for CPAP and oxygen. “I have 100% confidence in our abilities to process orders in the manner Medicare requires,” Ewert said.

ATS, ResMed launch fellowship

NEW YORK – The ATS Foundation and ResMed have partnered on a new fellowship in sleep-disordered breathing and PAP therapy. The ATS Foundation/ResMed Research Fellowship is made possible through a $100,000 contribution from ResMed. “This award can help shine a brighter light on sleep apnea—a public health crisis—and PAP therapy’s role in addressing it worldwide,” said Carlos M. Nunez, MD, ResMed’s chief medical officer. “When 85% of people with sleep apnea still aren’t diagnosed, ResMed is proud to support high-quality research efforts to accelerate finding, testing and treating them so they can enjoy a full night’s rest, better overall health and a significant reduction of life-threatening risks.” The fellowship application process will open April 26. The ATS Scientific Advisory Committee will review applications for their scientific merit, innovation, feasibility and relevance to sleep-disordered breathing and PAP therapy. The $100,000 in funding will span a two-year period, from December 2018 through December 2020.

ACHC launches nutrition distinction

CARY, N.C. – The Accreditation Commission for Health Care has launched a Distinction in Nutrition Support (NTS), the industry’s first, it says. The distinction augments the company’s infusion pharmacy accreditation, allowing providers to demonstrate their expertise in the provision of nutrition products and formulas, as well as their commitment to optimal patient care, according to a press release. “The Distinction in Nutrition Support focuses on nutrition-specific pharmacy operations and the provision of care, allowing infusion providers to differentiate themselves among their competitors,” said Tim Safley, director of DMEPOS, pharmacy and sleep. Pharmacies seeking to achieve a Distinction in NTS must do so in combination with ACHC Infusion Pharmacy Accreditation. The Nutrition Distinction joins ACHC's other distinctions in oncology, infectious disease specific to HIV, and hazardous drug handling.