C-flex CPAP blows high expectations

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. - The launch of Respironics’ new C-Flex technology has hit the street with the kind of kudos and expectations that don’t come every year, let alone every few years.

In its launch release, Respironics, which does not have a history of hyperbolic reaction to its product launches, calls the technology “revolutionary.” According to Respironics CEO, Jim Liken, C-Flex has the potential to largely replace the traditional CPAP therapy product.

C-Flex product manager, Jay Vreeland, said the C-Flex launch “could be the biggest one we’ve ever done.”

While providers and sleep industry experts are generally enthused by the C-Flex technology, some remember other technology launches that made the same sort of claims.

“I thought AutoAdjust [Smart CPAP] was revolutionary and would replace the CPAP market,” said Bob McCoy, an independent researcher at Valley Inspired Products in Burnsville, Minn.

“Ramp was going to change everything, and bi-level was going to change everything, and auto-titration was going to change everything, and memory systems were too, but we still struggle with poor compliance,” said Joe Lewarski, president of Hytech Homecare & Medical Supply in Mentor, Ohio, and chair of the AARC’s home care section.

Lewarski hasn’t seen C-Flex, nor has he seen studies that persuade him that bi-level and Smart CPAP technologies significantly enhance compliance.

Vreeland agrees that the data is not out there for Smart CPAP, but he’s persuaded that the data for C-Flex will bear out early findings.

“We’re seeing it, we’re hearing, it’s happening,” he said.

Another reason why C-Flex has the potential to bear out the heady claims has to do with its predominant position as therapy of choice in the OSA market. Where bi-level therapy is a small to insignificant player, and Smart CPAP has corralled about 10% of the market, the market is much more responsive to CPAP technology changes.

“It’s a more accessible technology for a lot of people,” said Vreeland. HME