Smart money: investing OSA

Tuesday, April 30, 2002

PORTOLA VALLEY, Calif. — As a cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Thomas Fogarty as seen first hand the negative effects obstructive sleep apnea and its frequent partner in crime, hypertension, can have on the human heart, making it muscle bound and inefficient.

As an investor, Fogarty sees great promise in at-home sleep diagnostics technology, given the long lines and high expense associated with sleep labs.

"I like to deal with issues that are major health problems, that people have ignored," said Fogerty, a San Francisco-area entrepreneur and founder or co-founder of more than 30 companies in the medical device or service fields.

An original investor in home sleep diagnostics company Sleep Solutions, Forgarty along with Johnson & Johnson and MedVentures Associates infused the start-up with another $7 million last month.

Once payers realize in-home sleep diagnostics are reliable, will save them money and recognize OSA for what it is: a public health issue, he's betting the investment will pay dividends.

"I think it is a matter of time," Fogarty said. "You can't deny the benefits of good technology." HME