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ResMed: Waking Up To Sleep Disorders

Executive Summary

Long viewed as simply annoying habits, sleep disordered breathing (SDB) problems like snoring are, in fact, often symptoms of more severe conditions, most commonly obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). New clinical evidence is confirming the theories of early sleep medicine physicians that, in addition to causing snoring, headaches and excessive daytime sleepiness, OSA leads to severe cerebro- and cardiovascular complications, including hypertension, stroke, heart attack and sudden cardiac death. Studies are also revealing that SDB problems are extremely widespread, afflicting an estimated 40 million Americans, yet only a small percentage of those are diagnosed and treated. Very few patients are ever cured because the traditional surgical procedures that can eliminate OSA are extremely traumatic and often don't work. ResMed is fighting a two-tiered battle in attempting to develop and market devices to effectively treat OSA: first is getting patients to acknowledge and physicians to diagnose and treat this condition, and second is designing a device that is sufficiently patient-friendly to overcome what has been the Achilles heel of OSA treatment: poor patient compliance.
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