'We are not anti-CPAP'
Elias Kalantzis believes so strongly in the importance of treating sleep apnea that, in April, he gave away 50 home sleep tests at a Dallas awareness event—at a cost of $25,000. Kalantzis, president of sleeptest.com, founded the site in 2010 as an online resource to educate the public about sleep apnea as well as “CPAP” alternatives. He spoke with HME News recently about what drives his passion for sleep.
HME News: What got you interested in sleep apnea awareness?
Elias Kalantzis: I bought the domain name because my brother had sleep apnea. Two months later, at age 36, he passed away from a heart attack from the complications of sleep apnea.
HME: How does sleeptest.com increase awareness?
Elias: Our goal is to get everybody to at least fill out the online screener to see if they are at risk. We email them back with their Epworth sleepiness scale and then if they want to seek local help (we can direct them).
HME: You don’t sell any products on the site. How do you make money?
Kalantzis: On the back end, we are a marketing company that helps secure new patients for sleep apnea. We have different marketing messages that you can promote in your community. Do you snore? Are you tired of being tired? Call 1-800-sleeptest.
HME: Do you favor alternatives to CPAP, like oral appliances?
Kalantzis: We are not anti-CPAP. It’s a great treatment if people can tolerate it. For my brother, the CPAP didn’t mask didn’t fit him and he kept taking it off. For us, it’s about overall health and wellness. It doesn’t matter what treatment you get, as long as you get treated somehow: weight loss, CPAP, surgery, oral appliances.
HME: Where does the DME provider fit into the overall picture?
Kalantzis: They know that there are people that are CPAP intolerant. If we can get the DMEs to not go against (alternatives)—let’s work together—they can work with local people to get patients treated.