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Alternative Therapies For Obstructive Sleep Apnea | NEWS-Line for School and Community Healthcare Professionals

Alternative Therapies For Obstructive Sleep Apnea


As the needs of a growing number of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients continue to be unmet by current sleep apnea therapies, demand for alternative treatment is beginning to increase. Positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy remains the mainstay of sleep apnea management. However, high non-compliance rates among patients are leading to interest in alternative solutions. Further, the consolidated nature of the PAP-based therapy market makes this a difficult market for new entrants to penetrate, and efforts from new suppliers continue to focus on value-based solutions targeted at the growing emerging markets.

In a new white paper released by IHS, IHS Medical Technology industry analyst, Holly Ingram, provides analysis of the traditional and alternative therapies available for the treatment of OSA.

The white paper discusses the current market environment for sleep apnea therapy, providing insight into the historical dominance of the PAP-therapy systems, and the merits and disadvantages of their use. Ingram then goes on to explore some of the available alternatives, assessing the advantages and limitations of the therapies and the potential challenges to their uptake.

“Sleep apnea therapy is complex; it requires consideration of the patient’s needs, and a good understanding of both the initial and long-term costs to the healthcare provider.” says Ingram. “While IHS does not see one standalone solution prevailing in the battle against sleep apnea, we predict that the use of these alternative therapies will increase in the future, providing a wider range of solutions to allow better management of the growing patient population. Rather than directly encroaching on the PAP-therapy market, we believe the alternative therapies will provide more options to patients who are unable to use PAP-based therapy, addressing the costly issue of non-compliance.”

Cost-containment continues to underpin the development of medical device markets, and is a primary consideration in this analysis. Ingram acknowledges the challenges faced by alternative therapy suppliers in penetrating the market, including a lack of full reimbursement for many of these solutions and, in some cases, required approval of the use of these therapies in some markets. The paper also recognizes the dominance of PAP-based therapies, and discusses the difficulties in initiating a transition from the use of such a well-known and well-understood solution.

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