Small Wonder – The Worlds Smallest CPAP
Officials at Somnetics International say the diminutive Transcend CPAP unit is not only for the travel market.
In a world where tiny iPods hold thousands of memory-intensive songs, should it be any surprise that a CPAP machine finally weighs less than a pound? Clarence Johnson, president and CEO of Somnetics International, observed the trends over the last decade, and decided to start a mini revolution of his own.
The result is the Transcend Sleep Apnea Therapy Portable CPAP System, a unit that company officials say is the smallest, lightest, and most portable CPAP on the market. “It also has the smallest, lightest, and most portable battery,” says Johnson, who relied on more than 25 years in the biotechnology industry prior to starting Somnetics 2 years ago. “These two things, in combination with the waterless humidification technology, will transform the way CPAP is delivered.”
Somnetics received FDA market clearance for the Transcend obstructive sleep apnea therapy device in July 2010. A little more than a year later, judges at the 2011 Medtrade show in Atlanta gave Transcend the Innovation Award for the product that best exemplifies high tech and state-of-the-art design.
In addition to the unit’s compact size, judges appreciated the fixed pressure CPAP’s automatic altitude adjustment, good for up to 8,000 feet, with AHI and leak detection reported to compliance software. Tight pressure control at the mask means consistent performance that Johnson maintains is more than suitable for everyday use, beyond the obvious benefits for travel.
“The Transcend is reimbursed under the same codes as any other CPAP on the market,” he says. “Physicians should know this is not an auto-pap, but instead a fixed pressure CPAP. We stop recommending at 16 cm of water for pressure, although the device will regulate to 20 cm. We think that anything above 16 cm really requires expiratory relief or Bi-PAP. The only thing we don’t have is expiratory relief. Other than that, Transcend is fully featured, and even has more features than some units.”
For DMEs and self-dispensing sleep labs looking for cash sales, Transcend can attract customers looking for secondary travel devices. “Physicians can send patients to DMEs and those DMEs can provide this as a primary device,” adds Johnson. “And of course, when patients want to travel, they can do it. No other device is that convenient. Every other device is heavier, bulkier, bigger, and creates problems.”
According to Johnson, Transcend can be carried and used on a flight, and as a medical device it does not count as a carry-on item. Sleep lab directors and DME providers should advise users to never check a sleep apnea therapy device with baggage because the chances for damage are high. “A doctor can provide a letter stating the user’s diagnosis and the need to carry and use the device on the plane, if necessary,” says Johnson. “Users should call the airline in advance to clarify procedures and in-flight policies.”
One crucial feature of the modern CPAP is humidification, and Transcend uses heat moisture exchange technology that hospital-based respiratory therapists have long relied on for critical care ventilation patients. “We are the only ones to do it in this context, and we have a great deal of intellectual property developed around the concept of applying this technology to CPAP,” says Johnson, who holds a Master of Science degree in microbiology (biochemistry) from the University of Minnesota.
Somnetics sells its products through an established network of distributors and direct sales representatives serving markets across the U.S., and in key markets around the world. The unit is reimbursable under the standard CPAP HCPC code, and is accepted by most insurance companies.
The Transcend Starter Kit (basic Transcend system) comes with a standard 6-ft hose that will work with any mask or seal on the market. Two battery options are available, one with an overnight capacity of 7 to 10 hours at a pressure of 14 cm. “Another option is a multi-night battery that will last 14 to 16 hours minimum at 14 cm,” adds Johnson. “Both batteries work as uninterrupted power supplies for people living in hurricane zones or zones with frequent power outages. Ultimately, we listened to patients in putting this device together, and we feel we have incorporated what they want.”
At a Glance
• Transcend’s universal AC power supply automatically converts the power current for international use.
• Transcend and its accessories and parts are available at medical equipment dealers.
• Transcend is competitively priced with other CPAP devices on the market.
• The system comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
• The Transcend Sleep Apnea Therapy Starter System is compatible with any CPAP mask via the Universal Hose Adaptor and standard 6-foot hose.
• The Transcend H6B and H9M Waterless Humidification Systems come with a proprietary interface that can be fitted with adaptors that are compatible with the most commonly used nasal seals.
• Automatically compensates therapy pressure to altitudes of up to 8,000 feet.
• Mobile power adaptor plugs into the DC power outlet in a car, truck, RV, boat, camper or mode of transportation with power. Mobile power adaptor can recharge the Transcend battery pack.
• P4 battery system provides sufficient power to operate the device for 7 to 9 hours at a pressure setting of 14 cm H2O. The P8 battery system provides power for 14 to 16 hours of use at the same setting. Both the P4 and P8 batteries are designed to accommodate more than 250 discharge/recharge cycles with standard use.
• Transcend uses patented heat moisture exchange (HME) technology to provide humidification during therapy.
• The hygienic heat moisture exchanger (HME) is disposable and has no electric heating elements. HME technology works naturally with the user’s breath to provide humidification.
• Can be used as a traditional CPAP using the Transcend Bedside Docking Station™ or worn on the head for maximum flexibility and mobility.
• Because it features waterless humidification, Transcend can be placed securely on the bed, on a pillow, in the bed stand drawer, or on the floor – wherever it’s most convenient.
• Air bearing blower technology makes Transcend quiet and vibration-free.