SINGAPORE: Millions of people worldwide, who suffer from the debilitating effects of sleep apnea, will benefit from a new device to treat the health condition, thanks to an innovative technology partnership between ResMed and STMicroelectronics.
Sleep apnea, a common but little-known disorder, affects 1 in 5 adults. It stems from closure of the airway during sleep which causes breathing to stop, sometimes for more than a minute; often leaving the person affected gasping for air. In severe cases, this can happen hundreds of times each night leading to serious health risks, including increased heart rate, higher blood pressure and potentially, heart attack and cardiovascular disease.
The symptoms of sleep apnea include fatigue, depression, poor concentration/memory and waking with a headache or dry sore throat. While many people perceive snoring as a common and harmless problem, it can be a clear symptom of this serious condition. Over 80 percent of sufferers with moderate to severe sleep apnea are thought to be undiagnosed and untreated.
Luckily, there are safe and effective treatments available which provide a new lease on life to many sleep apnea sufferers. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is recognized as the most effective non-invasive treatment for the majority of cases. With this therapy, a bedside device gently delivers pressurized air via a mask to keep the upper airway open and prevent obstruction.
“People with sleep apnea often find that their quality of life is severely reduced. The challenge in diagnosing sleep apnea is that many sufferers are unaware that they may have the disorder,” said Rob Douglas, COO, ResMed Asia Pacific.
“Although CPAP treatment acts on the relatively simple principle of blowing air into the airway, the latest technology behind ResMed CPAP devices, like the new S9 Series, is truly innovative.”
“By working with a partner like STMicroelectronics, one of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers, we have been able to take CPAP therapy to a new level of effectiveness, significantly enhancing the patient’s quality of life,” said Douglas.
With significant investment in R&D and a cross-functional team of industrial designers, mechanical, electrical, software and system engineers, ResMed’s multi-award winning S9 Series is now available globally. The device was developed from the ground-up; ResMed virtually customized and optimized everything with its technology partners in the early design phase.
An example of such collaboration is the S9 Series’ integrated microchip technology, provided by STMicroelectronics. The technology provides sensing support to help automatically control the air pressure needed by the patient; it also allows for extensive data logging, and a color LCD screen to help make the device easy-to-use.
“As a strategic technology partner for ResMed, the global leader in devices for treatment of sleep-disordered breathing, ST is building on its growing strengths and presence in the healthcare market,” said Francois Guibert, executive VP and president, Greater China & South Asia, STMicroelectronics. “I am very excited with our partnership going forward. Our shared roadmap will see even more innovative ST products powering future market-leading devices by ResMed.”
ResMed’s S9 Series offers the capabilities of a high-tech medical device, coupled with cutting-edge, yet easy-to-use design to ensure patients experience a healthy and restful night’s sleep. It was recently recognised internationally with a red dot design award, and is currently on display in Singapore’s red dot award museum.