Here’s how a respiratory firm took control of the connected health and the medtech digital revolution.
When you think powerful digital connected devices, the first thing to pop into your head probably isn’t a CPAP. Continuous positive airway pressure has been shown in numerous studies to be effective in improving sleep apnea and preventing a host of co-morbidities such as obesity, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. But the buy-in from patients is notoriously lacking.
Respiratory companies have been struggling with this challenge for many years. Designers and developers have made both iterative and innovative improvements, without demonstrably moving the needle on changing patient behavior. For the most part, compliance rates hover around 50%.
San Diego–based ResMed’s quest to improve patient compliance began over a decade ago, explained CEO Mick Farrell. “We started our first digital health experiments with UC San Diego in 2002 and learned a lot over a decade.”
That work lead to a reinvention of the company in 2012, with 100% cloud-connected medical devices across all of its sleep apnea therapy platforms.
“We’re first in the industry to put a cellular communication chip inside every sleep apnea device,” Farrell told MassDevice’s Medical Design & Outsourcing.
Since then, the company has made impressive strides. Berg Insight, an independent research organization, estimates that 7.1 million patients worldwide use remote monitoring products. Of those, more than 4 million are cloud-connected to ResMed’s remote monitoring platform. In 2016, Berg noted in its “mHealth and Home Monitoring” report that sleep therapy remote monitoring grew by 70%, surpassing cardiac rhythm management. The report noted that the growth was “driven by the vendor ResMed that has made connected healthcare a cornerstone of its strategy.”
That success changed the thinking around connected medical devices, blazing the trail for other medical device makers to follow.