Moving the HME Industry Forward

Respiratory/Sleep

ResMed Study – Nearly a Billion Sleep Apnea Sufferers?

May 26, 2018

SAN DIEGO – A new data analysis presented by ResMed last week at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2018 International Conference indicates that the prevalence of sleep apnea impacts more than 936 million people worldwide—nearly 10 times greater than previous estimates.

“We know that there is a high correlation between obesity and sleep apnea,” says Josh Marx, managing director, Sleep, and vice president, Business Development, for Medical Service Company, with multiple locations throughout Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. “HealthData.org estimates that 2.1 billion people, or almost one-third of the world’s population are overweight or obese. Is it too far out of the realm of possibility that half of them have sleep apnea? I am not a clinician or statistician, but I’m not sure I would bet against it either.”

The study, “Global Prevalence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)” was conducted by an international panel of leading researchers seeking to provide a clear scope of the impact of the chronic sleep-disordered breathing condition. The previous estimation of OSA prevalence (100 million) came from a 2007 World Health Organization study that used methods and data available at the time. By analyzing technology improvements in detecting OSA and underreported statistics from other areas of the world, this latest study depicts an impacted population significantly larger than previously identified.

“The research and findings are a revelation in sleep apnea research and represent a vastly underreported major public health issue,” said Adam Benjafield, ResMed vice president of Medical Affairs and lead study researcher. “This new study demonstrates a need for expanded awareness around the diagnosis and treatment of OSA worldwide.”

Sleep apnea is a chronic disease that causes people to stop breathing while they sleep. To avoid suffocation, the body is jolted by the brain to take a breath, typically without the person ever being aware. This cycle can repeat as many as hundreds of times a night, disrupting normal sleep patterns. Life-threatening conditions associated with OSA range from chronic daytime fatigue to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and more. Previous studies have suggested that undiagnosed sleep apnea costs nearly $150 billion in the United States alone as a result of related lost productivity, motor vehicle accidents and workplace accidents – an economic impact that’s likely much greater, given a higher prevalence total.

“This study should encourage physicians to talk with their patients about how sleep affects our overall health,” said Carlos M. Nunez, M.D., chief medical officer, ResMed. “It should also cause more people to ask themselves, ‘Do I or my bed partner have this?’ Those who have sleep apnea don’t often realize they have it and, therefore, don’t realize they can do something to mitigate the resulting chronic fatigue or its more harmful long-term health risks. And sleep apnea isn’t just a disease for older, overweight men, as once thought. It affects people of all ages, all ethnic and racial groups, all states of health, and is not gender specific. In fact, nearly half of newly diagnosed patients are female.”

Additional ResMed Studies Show Remote Monitoring and Automated Resupply Improve Adherence to PAP Therapy

SAN DIEGO – Remote patient monitoring and resupply programs have been shown to improve patient adherence to positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, according to two separate studies presented by ResMed last week at the ATS 2018 International Conference.

Remote monitoring boosts compliance

In the first study, medXcloud, a ResMed-assembled group of healthcare key opinion leaders, examined de-identified data of more than 2.6 million U.S. PAP users from ResMed’s world-leading remote monitoring network, AirView. Using this big data approach, researchers observed excellent adherence among patients initiating PAP therapy: 75 percent achieved the CMS compliance threshold.*

This rate compares favorably with that of non-cloud-connected PAP therapy and other chronic medical therapies – both around 50 percent. Plus, the large sample suggests that the findings are generalizable and likely to reflect real-world clinical care.

Resupply Program Boosts Long-Term Compliance

In a separate study of more than 100,000 well-matched PAP users, ResMed and collaborating researchers found that over a one-year period, those enrolled in a resupply program slept 5.6 hours on PAP each night, compared to 4.5 hours/night for those not enrolled (a 24 percent increase). Resupply patients were also significantly less likely to terminate PAP altogether, with a one-year termination rate probability of 16.1 percent for the resupply group, compared with 33.8 percent for the control group.

In many cases, after a patient is setup on CPAP, they may never hear from their DME again,” says Josh Marx, managing director, Sleep, and vice president, Business Development, for Medical Service Company, with multiple locations throughout Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. “At MSC Sleep, we believe regular resupply or ReFresh is not only critical for managing bacterial infection and promoting good hygiene. It also gives us the chance to engage with each of our patients at least 4 times per year, and coach them through any specific therapy challenges they are experiencing at that time. While Medicare expects a patient to be compliant within the first 90 days, we work hard to keep them compliant and engaged for the long-run.”

“These two studies demonstrate significantly effective ways to help patients achieve 90-day compliance with cloud-based remote monitoring and to keep them compliant over the long term with mask resupply programs,” said Adam Benjafield, researcher on both studies and ResMed’s vice president of Medical Affairs. “This is why every new ResMed PAP device has cloud connectivity without any setup required by the clinician or user, and why we advocate for patients to be enrolled in mask resupply programs to maximize their long-term adherence to improve health outcomes.”