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Sleep Apnea: A High Growth Device Market Awakens

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

There's a reason why Philips paid $5 billion and a premium to buy Respironics. Sleep apnea is an enormous emerging opportunity: in the US, 38 million patients have the disease, and there are compelling clinical reasons to treat them. That's big business for device companies, if only they can access patients and establish new referral patterns in a highly fragmented market.

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Sleep Apnea Devices: The Changing Of The Guard

The current specialty-dominated care paradigm for sleep apnea can't scale-up to meet the demands of an enormous and serious chronic disease. New companies help move diagnosis and treatment to the physicians that see patients first.

Sleep Apnea Devices: The Changing Of The Guard

The current specialty-dominated care paradigm for sleep apnea can't scale-up to meet the demands of an enormous and serious chronic disease. New companies help move diagnosis and treatment to the physicians that see patients first.

Apnex Medical Inc.

Apnex Medical is developing a tiny device that it thinks could become an enormous game changer in the bid to better treat obstructive sleep apnea. The technology is similar to a pacemaker in both size and concept. But instead of the heart, the device stimulates the musculature of the upper airway at the base of the tongue - the genioglossus - via the hypoglossal nerve. In obstructive sleep apnea, the muscle doesn't always activate sufficiently, which can lead to a collapsed airway.

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