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Philips exit skews vent market

Philips exit skews vent market

Elliot CampbellYARMOUTH, Maine – With its Trilogy EVO considered the standard bearer, the decision by Philips to exit the home ventilator market in the U.S. is a tough hit, but “business goes on,” say industry players. 

“Philips was the industry leader for NIV therapy,” said Elliot Campbell, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for Whitmore Lake, Mich.-based Trace Medical, a supplier of rental ventilators nationally. “But our customers have been in flux for four years now due to COVID and the initial recall and the second recall, as well as supply interruptions in some shape or form, and they’ve done a great job adapting. If this would have happened four years ago, things would be dramatically different.” 

Philips announced on Jan. 25 that it had discontinued sales for Trilogy EV200 home ventilators on that day but would service the devices until Jan. 25, 2029. 

Slow exit 

Trace Medical, for one, has been heavily diversifying its portfolio of vents since 2020, when Philips discontinued sales for its Trilogy 100/200/202 portable home vents. 

“Market demand previously drove a concentration of Philips products, but that concentration diminishes every month as we purchase new devices from other supply partners,” said Greg Apostolou, CEO. “We’re comfortable with our product mix.” 

Apostolou pointed out, however, that Trace Medical plans to get the “full, useful lifetime” out of its fleet of Philips vents, with Philips committed to servicing the devices for several years and Trace Medical also in discussions with Philips to continue supplying parts even beyond that period. 

“It will take years and years for them to completely, if ever, leave the market,” Campbell said. 

‘End-to-end' play 

One competitor, React Health, believes it’s well-positioned to step in and serve increased demand for vents thanks to its acquisition of Ventec Life Systems, which manufactures a wide variety of ventilators here in the U.S.  The company recently launched V*Home, a traditional home ventilator aimed at managing a wide variety of patients from pediatrics to adults with non-invasive and invasive therapy.   

“Our acquisition of Ventec was the foundation to build new and improved ventilation products in the home care space,” said Tod York, executive vice president of sales for React Health. “Since acquiring Ventec, we have invested in adding high flow therapy, cellular modems for patient management, and GPS technology. We will soon be launching our V+C Vent with Integrated Cough Assistive Therapy that combines two vital therapies.  We are truly building a hospital-to-home offering transitioning patients in an acute care setting seamlessly through our DME partners back to the home.”  

Additional acquisitions of Novosom and Watermark Medical, two home sleep testing service providers, as well as agreements with SleepRes for V-Com and EnsoData, also position React Health as an “end-to-end" solution not only for vents but also for CPAP devices and other respiratory devices, York says. 

‘Closest replacement’ 

Another competitor, Movair, believes its LUISA non-invasive/invasive vent with high-flow therapy is the “closest replacement” for the Trilogy EVO on the market.  

“We’re confident it lines up best,” said Bob Ellis, vice president of sales and marketing. “The auto back up feature; the ability to set an inspiratory lock-out time to help prevent breath stacking; the pressure-drop setting – these all have positioned the LUISA to be a high-quality product that has now become even more important.”  

Ellis also pointed out that LUISA has emergency use authorization, which, unlike the public health emergency, has not ended, and which typically lasts for many years. Movair is in the process of transitioning its EUA to 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

Model shift 

Despite their resiliency in the wake of yet another obstacle in the respiratory market, Campbell and Apostolou concede that more and more providers are reaching out to them about shifting their business models to rentals vs. purchases. 

“We’ve received more calls from people saying, ‘We’ve bought our last ventilator; we don’t ever want to do this again,’” Campbell said. “We’ve had conversations with national providers, large and small regional providers, and independent providers. We mitigate that risk for them, so they have what they need, where they need it, when they need it at a rental price that is below the cost of ownership.”


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