Grass Technologies Comet PSG and AURA PsG
Reviewed by Marietta B. Bibbs/MBB
Vice President and Director of Technical Development,
Sleep Management Centers, LLC, Fort Myers, FL
WHY I USE AND WILL CONTINUE TO USE GRASS PRODUCTS
I have been a longtime loyal user of Grass products. I started out many years ago using Grass Model 7, Model 8 and Model 78 analog polygraphs, and I have progressed with them as they have upgraded their technology. I was one of the first customers to purchase the Grass Heritage Systems with Gamma Software. This product was very stable. We used the same polygraphs from 1998 until 2006. As the Grass product line improved, I gained experience working with the Comet PSG systems and now with the AURA PSG product. Customer support is critical to me and they have a very skilled and know-ledgeable customer support team. What I hope to see is more development of products in the ambulatory arena. They have started this with the AURA PSG and AURA Lite. I hope that they continue to manufacture products in this area since the field seems to be leaning in this direction.
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND IN-SERVICE TRAINING
The Grass Products are very user friendly and require very little detailed training. I have been able to use the products very easily with minimal orientation and training. Ahead of the in-service training, the Grass technical support staff provided applicable documentation and diagrams. This process helped us ensure the physical installation of the equipment would go smoothly. They also provided me with a schedule featuring in-service installation procedures which helped me plan staffing logistics for the training period. Practical training was given to the daytime and nighttime staff, and also our physicians. In fact, the Grass in-service staff even helped us acquire, score, and generate a report on the first patients recorded on their equipment.
KEY HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE PRODUCT FEATURES
Grass products are easy to comprehend and logical to people who have computer skills. Their hardware and software seems have been designed in a manner that is intuitive to work with, especially from a sleep diagnostic perspective.
From a hardware standpoint, the stability of the equipment and the lifetime warranty on the Grass products is very reassuring and was a key point in us continuing to use Grass equipment. The hardware also offers me various types of sleep studies, from a standard diagnostic or therapeutic PSG, to extended channel PSGs and MSLTs/MWTs. Their AURA PSG wireless system offers great comfort to the patient, particularly those having MSLTs or MWTs and patients with extended PSGs.
From a software standpoint, capabilities like their Sleep Staging/Scoring Comparison software and flexible sleep reports are very useful features. Interlab scoring comparisons are required for AASM accreditation, and the Grass scoring comparison helps facilitate this process. Their PSG reports are Word-based, which makes it easy to create different reports for specific physicians. Their new EKG analysis software looks like it will benefit the industry too. Cardiology aspects of the sleep study seem to becoming more and more important in the overall diagnosis and treatment of the patient.
CUSTOMER SUPPORT AND PRODUCT WARRANTY
The after-sale support is one of the best in the field. I have used a variety of PSG products, and no one beats their 24/7 customer support and lifetime product warranty. If one of their amplifiers becomes faulty (which is a rare occurrence), they offer repair at no charge. This is a big savings to the sleep lab, and other manufacturers do not offer a better warranty. Also, today’s sleep lab needs service and support 24 hours a day. With Grass, I can always speak with one of their knowledgeable technical support staff, day or night.