SomnoMed Registered to Provide United States Military SomnoDent Therapy

SomnoMed provides diagnostic and treatment solutions for Sleep Breathing Disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea and manufactures the SomnoDent product range. The Armed Services Association has confirmed SomnoMed is registered and eligible to provide SomnoDent to the United States Military personnel.

SomnoMed, Inc., manufacturer of the world’s leading oral appliance, SomnoDent for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea announces that the Armed Services Association (ASA) has confirmed the company’s SomnoDent registration to provide United States Military personnel OSA Treatment.

This registration confirmation coincides with a recent announcement from the US Army Medical Department stating custom made oral “devices that fit within the mouth to prevent upper airway collapse, as an effective first-line treatment, according to two studies conducted by sleep medicine specialists from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, Md.”

“Historically, CPAP has been the primary treatment for OSA, but only half of patients tolerate this therapy, which requires wearing a face mask hooked to a machine each night,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Lettieri, M.D., one of the studies’ authors, an Army medical director and the chief of sleep medicine in the pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine department at WRNMMC. “This new data offers a fresh look at adjustable oral appliances as an initial treatment for OSA in both the military and civilian sectors.”

The military is interested in the SomnoDent, as alternatives to CPAP systems since some active duty service members deploy to environments where electricity needed to run CPAP machines is not always available. In these cases, reliance on CPAP may result in duty restrictions or separation from service. “Adjustable OAs would eliminate duty assignment limitations associated with CPAP, allowing Soldiers to travel to remote areas as needed,” said Lettieri.


New Study: Sleep Disorders, Health, and Safety in Police Officers

In the current issue of JAMA “Journal of the American Medical Association” A large study of Police Officers in the U.S and Canada found 40% of police officers had symptoms of a sleep disorder, including sleep apnea and insomnia.

Click here to view Abstract and Full article

Officers who screened positive for those disorders were also more likely to be burned out, depressed or have an anxiety disorder. Over the next two years, they committed more administrative errors and safety violations and were more prone to falling asleep at the wheel than sound sleepers.

“In general we have this cultural attitude of, sleep is for the weak,” said Dr. Michael Grandner, from the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

“When you’re in an environment where signs of weakness are particularly discouraged, there may be a social pressure to not address sleep problems or to shrug them off,” added Grandner, author of a commentary published with the new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

When police officers in particular suffer from sleep problems, he said, it becomes a public health and safety problem. “It’s not just the people with sleep disorders that are affected,” Grandner told Reuters Health. “If they’re impaired, you’re at risk.”

Researchers say police departments could do more to make sure that officers with sleep disorders receive appropriate treatment, which may include sleep machines, therapy or changes in work schedules.

For the new study, close to 5,000 police officers were surveyed on sleep problems and other health topics. That included Philadelphia officers and Massachusetts state police as well as a broader range of other U.S. and Canadian cops.

The officers were on average 38 to 39 years old and most had been in the police force for more than decade.

Dr. Charles Czeisler from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and his colleagues found that 40% of the officers screened positive for at least one sleep disorder.

The most common was sleep apnea, which affected a third of cops, followed by moderate or severe insomnia and shift work disorder, which consists of sleepiness and insomnia associated with working at night.


Officers with a sleep disorder were more than twice as likely as healthy sleepers to report depression, emotional exhaustion or burnout and anxiety disorders on their original surveys.

On follow-up questionnaires sent out over the next two years, they were also 40 to 60% more likely to report making serious administrative errors, falling asleep while driving or committing a fatigue-related error or safety violation during work.

Poor sleepers reported more citizen complaints and more often showed uncontrolled anger toward a suspect or citizen.

“You have people who are sleep deprived, which means that their ability to make good decisions, to respond effectively, to drive emergency vehicles well … all of those things are impaired,” said Bryan Vila, a criminal justice professor who studies sleep and performance in cops at Washington State University in Spokane but wasn’t involved in the study.

The researchers noted that being heavy increases the risk of sleep apnea, and that almost 80% of the officers they surveyed were overweight or obese.

Czeisler said the lowest rates of both sleep apnea and overweight and obese conditions were in Massachusetts state cops, and that that’s no coincidence.

Those officers get one hour paid exercise time for every work shift, he told Reuters Health, and undergo regular fitness tests that simulate chasing a suspect or dragging a victim, with a bonus in pay if they pass.

“It’s an impressive program and perhaps a model for the nation,” Czeisler said.


Putting in measures to catch sleep disorders early could help prevent future health and safety consequences, researchers say. Those could include on-the-job screening in police departments, according to Czeisler, and making sure cops with sleep problems get help.

“We have great treatments for sleep disorders, we have great screening tools, the technology is there,” Grandner told Reuters Health. Sleep apnea can be treated with a breathing machine and mask used at night, and behavioral therapy is often the first line of treatment for people with insomnia, he said.

Czeisler said next up is a study funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to look at sleep disorders in firefighters.

Source: JAMA

Compumedics Another Milestone: EEG Contract Win with Yale University

Compumedics Limited (ASX:CMP) today announced another significant milestone of being awarded the contract to supply EEG equipment for the Neurology Department at Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, USA.  Under the contract Compumedics will supply its latest EEG products comprising the new Compumedics NEUVO® Long-Term EEG Monitoring (LTEM) system, Grael®HD, Profusion EEG 4 and Curry® NS7 software.  The systems are to be used for routine clinical EEG and surgical monitoring.  This purchase represents another major milestone in Compumedics’ strategic entry into the global $250 million p.a. LTEM/neurology market.

The sale, with an order value of more than AUD1 million, will see the installation of Compumedics’ latest EEG products into Yale University and follows several other significant EEG orders in the USA in the first half of FY2012. The NEUVO® LTEM systems can record a minimum 64 individual channels of high-density EEG data on a single patient for days or weeks at a time.  The Grael®HD system provides high definition EEG signals while the Siesta®802 remains the industry’s most compact wireless EEG recording device.  Compumedics’ digital amplifier technology and breadth of EEG diagnostic offerings is state-of-the-art and provides Compumedics with a unique point of differentiation from competing offerings. Compumedics’ products provide higher quality brain recordings and more precise brain analysis than alternatives, helping to improve patient outcomes.

The Department of Neurology at Yale School of Medicine describes itself as a research, teaching, and clinical centre devoted to improving the understanding and treatment of diseases of the nervous system.  The department is a major part of the Yale University School of Medicine and has several active clinical programs at local medical establishments.

Compumedics® equipment will help the Department of Neurology to achieve its goal of providing the highest level of patient care through state-of-the-art clinical programs, educating future leaders in the field of neurology and being at the forefront of neuroscience research within one of the world’s most prestigious universities.  The department has a long history of being a pioneer in the field of Neurology, such as establishing one of the first epilepsy monitoring units and creating one of the first stroke centres.

Dr. David Burton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Compumedics Group commented,

“This contract is another important milestone for our Company. It reinforces our commitment to our customers and the patients under their care.  Compumedics has made significant investments in product development, targeting the neuro-diagnostics market to leverage its expertise in high-end amplifier design and physiological signal processing.  The world-class Yale University installation will establish a new and innovative standard for long-term EEG monitoring.   This project further underpins our strategy to grow our business across this important, but relatively new, market sector for Compumedics.  In particular, this prestigious sale to one of the world’s pre-eminent epilepsy monitoring centres validates our key growth strategy to penetrate the global LTEM market.  The LTEM market alone is more than twice the size of our existing core sleep diagnostic business.”