Sleep awareness has blossomed over the last decade, and it’s hard to find anyone who believes the market is anywhere near its peak. Consumers and members of the medical community increasingly agree that better sleep is a must for improved overall health.
With all that positivity, Jeremy Andra still wonders why the business climate surrounding sleep remains unsettled. “We know things are changing, and have to change even more with heath care the way it is right now,” says Andra, sleep products manager for Washington-based Cadwell Laboratories. “It’s not going to be back the way it was. Do we want to sit around and wait for insurance companies to figure it out? I don’t think so, because they usually get it wrong. In fact, many misunderstandings can happen.” As one example, Andra points out that the phenomenon of home sleep testing was never meant to hurt the sleep market, but instead to help it. That message may be getting through in much the same way that it did years ago in the cardiology market. “Cardiologists once complained that family practice physicians wanted to do their own EKG strips,” explains Andra, who has opened up more than 100 sleep clinics in a lengthy sleep-related career. “They were crying foul saying this will hurt us, and you don’t know enough about the heart like we do. Family practice came back and said, ‘You’re right, but we do know what a normal EKG looks like, and if it’s abnormal, we’ll send them to you.” Andra is keen to examine the progress of relevant specialties in an effort to develop and expand Cadwell’s sleep diagnostic products (which includes digital video software that allows users to display video movement as a channel in recording montages). Ultimately, Andra is intent on bringing disparate groups together to better all facets of the sleep industry.
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