continued Why the boom in the informatics department? That has a lot to do with Sodhi.
Sodhi came to ResMed from a company called Umbian, which made health monitoring software in Canada called U-Sleep. The firm was acquired by ResMed in 2012 for $41 million, and Sodhi came with it. Today, he heads up the informatics team and has been instrumental in building ResMed’s digital health portfolio with multiple acquisitions since.
“We’ve always been a medical device company, but if we’re looking at having a sustainable competitive advantage and changing the basis of competition, then health care informatics is the opportunity,” Sodhi said.
ResMed primarily develops machines to treat sleep apnea, a dangerous condition in which breathing is interrupted — and sometimes stops altogether — during sleep. Patients with this disorder experience poor quality of sleep, which (at best) makes individuals tired during the day and (at worst) can result in serious neurological disorders caused by sleep deprivation.
Sleep apnea patients are no small group. More than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea, according to the National Sleep Foundation, and many go undiagnosed as doctors cannot detect the condition during routine office visits.
ResMed’s continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are used to prevent the patient’s airway from collapsing during sleep. The company has been making these machines for decades, but in 2014 ResMed released the AirSense 10 series which came loaded with cellular chips embedded inside.
The device collects data and broadcasts it to parties who need it (doctors, home medical equipment providers, for example). With all this data being collected, tools were needed to make it useful. Enter, software.
The AB ZZZ’s of Monitoring
Sodhi’s software baby, U-Sleep, is now part of ResMed’s suite of programs called Air Solutions. This suite includes clinical tools and patient tools, all meant to support the AirSense 10 devices.
“We’re building an ecosystem that allows us to drive better outcomes for the patient, and drive efficiency for our providers,” Sodhi said.
In short, ResMed’s suite of programs makes it easier for sleep centers to diagnose patients. It makes it easier for patients to track and manage their own sleep therapy. It makes it easier for doctors to send referrals to sleep centers, and to know if their patients are complying with prescriptions. One ResMed program makes it easier for home medical equipment suppliers to get reimbursed for equipment, and to know when they need to ship new disposables to customers.