Home diagnostics attract newcomers

Sunday, October 31, 2004

WEST WARWICK, R.I. - While Medicare mulls the viability of in-home sleep diagnostics for obstructive sleep apnea, companies that have scented opportunity are getting ready for the day when a simple sleep screener conducts triage on the sleep disordered breathing population.

In mid-August, the Grass-Tele-factor Product Group of Astro-Med introduced a sleep screening device, the SleepTrek, that records nine channels of data in the home.

The $7,000 device measures nasal pressure and snoring with an airflow cannula; a pulse oximeter records SpO2 and heart rate. A sleep position sensor tracks body position, and two belts record data from the abdomen and the chest.

Astro-Med is positioning its product for sale to DME companies to sleep labs, trusting in the old marketing maxim: If you build it, they will come.

“Eventually, lowest cost solutions are going to be needed in the sleep diagnostic industry and this is one solution to that,” said Marc Paliotta, product manager for Grass-Telefactor.