ResMed (NYSE: RMD and ASX: RMD.AX) is a leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of medical equipment for treating, diagnosing, and managing sleep-disordered breathing and other respiratory disorders. The company is dedicated to developing innovative products to improve the lives of those who suffer from these conditions and to increasing awareness among patients and healthcare professionals of the potentially serious health consequences of untreated sleep-disordered breathing.
The ResMed story
When ResMed was formed in 1989, its primary purpose was to commercialize a device for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a major subset of SDB. Developed in 1981 by Professor Colin Sullivan and colleagues at the University of Sydney, nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) provided the first successful noninvasive treatment of OSA. Since 1989, ResMed has maintained its focus on SDB, which is gaining greater public and physician awareness. Operations have grown dramatically through the introduction of a number of highly innovative product lines.
SDB affects around 20% of the adult population¹, making it as widespread as diabetes or asthma. However, awareness is low and we believe that about 90% of people who have OSA remain undiagnosed and untreated. Along with an increasing understanding of the morbidity and mortality caused by SDB, this discrepancy has created one of the fastest growing segments of the respiratory industry. ResMed is positioned to meet the growing challenges of this under-penetrated market.
1 Young et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002; 165:1217-1239
ResMed is committed to increasing education and awareness of the serious health consequences of untreated SDB among both the general public and physicians. Our extensive geographical coverage allows us to work progressively towards this awareness. We have established ResMed Foundations in both Australia and the United States and are funding a primary care physician program (together with other industry participants) to educate doctors on the dangers of undiagnosed SDB.
The term “sleep-disordered breathing” includes a spectrum of respiratory disorders ranging in severity from snoring to OSA. OSA occurs when the airway temporarily collapses during sleep, preventing or restricting breathing for up to ten seconds or more. Such events can occur several hundred times a night severely disrupting sleep.
Untreated OSA can severely affect quality of life, health and mortality. Clinical research shows that it is linked strongly to a range of serious, even life-threatening, chronic diseases such as stroke, heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and coronary heart disease.
Widely accepted across the globe, positive airway pressure treatment is a highly effective, proven and popular way to treat OSA. This treatment involves wearing a mask or nasal pillows system connected to a small portable airflow generator that delivers air at positive pressure. The air pressure acts like an “air splint” to keep the airway open.
Continuing research and product development
We continue to invest approximately 6-7% of revenues in research and product development—that's a growing dollar figure every year, demonstrating our commitment to continuing global leadership in sleep medicine based on our innovative technologies. ResMed’s team is focused on developing innovative therapies that increase patient comfort and convenience while improving health. As of December 2010 we had over 3,000 patents granted or pending worldwide.
The ResMed team
Business success can be said to depend upon three key fundamentals—people, products and profits—and that without a good team the other two just aren’t possible. ResMed has a team of over 3,000 people based around the globe. Everyone in our team is working to help the millions of people suffering from SDB and other respiratory disorders, to educate the medical community and public about the dangers of untreated SDB, to strengthen our global operations and to deliver the very best products to our SDB patients. In addition, we have a senior management team with extensive experience in the SDB field and the medical device industry in general.