Reimbursement Cuts Could Drive Intelligent Sleep Solutions Growth

Ambulatory, home sleep diagnostic device revenues could hit $40.7 million by 2015.

A new report from medical electronics market research and consultancy firm InMedica predicts that the increasing cost pressures from a growing population of obstructive sleep apnea patients will lead to more ambulatory and home diagnosis, in addition to increased demand for intelligent automatic positive airway pressure (Auto-PAP) therapy solutions, reducing the total cost of sleep diagnosis and therapy. Global revenues for ambulatory/home sleep diagnostic devices are forecast to increase from $27.5 million in 2010 to $40.7 million by 2015.

“It is thought that the more that can be done at home, the lower the total cost of diagnosis and treatment,” says Kelly Barritt, senior market research analyst at InMedica. “However, this trend is very much country specific. With increased focus on improving patient diagnosis rates, there are different opinions of which method of diagnosis will be most cost effective. The provision of sleep therapy varies globally. In the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and Spain, sleep therapy is provided by home healthcare providers. In the U.K. and Nordic countries, devices are purchased by hospitals. Provision of care often has a major impact on purchasing decisions with budget being the limiting factor. Some European countries are looking to the guidelines set by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and are making small adaptations of their own.”

The InMedica report says that data collected during sleep diagnosis and therapy can be used in trend analysis, providing analysis of patterns both during diagnosis of sleep apnea and of patient compliance during therapy. With tighter restrictions on reimbursement globally, treatment is likely to be assessed to ensure that the patient is compliant with the prescribed therapy. Several therapy devices now have built-in compliance monitoring, enabling the healthcare provider to assess if the patient is using the equipment properly, or if their treatment needs to be reassessed. It is believed that compliant patients are often healthier and avoid the accidents that may occur because of a lack of sleep.

In addition, sleep therapy manufacturers such as Philips Respironics and ResMed, are now offering home monitoring solutions, enabling physicians to assess their patients’ compliance remotely. Home healthcare providers want to ensure that they can provide the necessary data to prove that their patients comply with the therapy provided and ensure that they receive the necessary reimbursement for their service provision. Currently, there are no regulations set for this, but as tighter market restrictions affect treatment choices, manufacturers are likely to want to prove the value of their products to remain competitive. Various therapy options are also being considered; healthcare providers are searching for the most cost-effective options that enable the patients to become compliant with ease, reducing the overall cost of care. Auto-PAP devices are self-adjusting systems that track the patient’s therapy needs as they change, adjusting the pressure as required. Despite higher upfront costs, the overall cost is offset by the reduction in the healthcare provider’s services to adjust the patient’s therapy to ensure compliance.

InMedica predicts that global revenues for Auto-PAP devices will increase from $490.3 million in 2010 to $682.3 million by 2015, at a compound-average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 percent. With the drive from home healthcare providers in the U.S. to improve cost efficiency of sleep therapy, demand for Auto-PAP devices is increasing. The US is the largest market for Auto-PAP devices and is forecast to remain so, projected to increase to $348.1 million in 2015.

For more information about sleep services and respiratory therapy, read the results of HME Business magazine’s and Mizuho Securities' recent Sleep Survey.

For more information about the InMedica report, please contact Wes Rogers at (912) 506-0869 or

About the Author

Joseph Duffy is a freelance writer and marketing consultant, and a regular contributor to HME Business. He can be reached via e-mail at


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 Andy Smith

Interesting article

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