Talk about a face lift

Thursday, September 2, 2010

IRVINE, Caif. - Fisher & Paykel is no longer the "ugly duckling" when it comes to CPAP therapy.

On Sept.1, the No. 3 player among sleep manufacturers (Respironics and ResMed lead the pack) rolled out the Premo, the first of three CPAP devices that comprise the company's new Icon line. The sleek devices come in stainless steel and other neutral contemporary colors and resemble modern bedside alarm clocks--not drab, beige clinical equipment.

If fact, the Icon doesn't just look like an alarm clock.; it is one. To free up space on the nightstand, it includes a digital clock and alarm.

"We are going after consumer appeal," said Robin Randolph, marketing manager, North America. "Acceptance has to come before adherence, and we think having the device look not like a medical device may create acceptance toward therapy versus, 'Oh, no,'"

In short, perception is reality. If a CPAP machine resembles an everyday household item, patients will more likely comply with therapy, said Randolph, adding that research supports this perspective.

In designing the Icon, Fisher & Paykel worked three years to combine style and substance. Each unit, for example, comes with patented ThermoSmart heated humidification. Unlike other CPAPs on the market, Randolph said, ThermoSmart is "hidden" inside the Icon unit and not hooked on as an attachment.

Fisher & Paykel developed three Icon models to meet a variety of patient needs:

*    Novo: A standard CPAP with RAMP and basic compliance reporting.

*    Premo: A fixed-pressure unit that tracks patient information, including usage, mask leaks and apnea hypopneas.

*    Auto: The most advanced Icon senses irregular breathing during the transition from sleep to awake and reduces pressure to help the user go back to sleep.

Fisher & Paykel is scheduled to unveil the Novo and Auto at Medtrade in November.

"We've gone from being the ugly duckling to the swan," Randolph said. "We've finally met the consumer's needs and what the HME industry has been requesting from F&P."