Quick: who is the CPAP customer? The one who spends each night hooked up to a hose and a machine to manage a serious health condition, right? Wrong
. Or at least that is what the CEO of Philips Respironics would have us believe. In an email sent to clinicians and other industry insiders, the CEO, Donald Spence, comforted DMEs and clinicians worried that a new web-based data monitoring tool, Encore Anywhere, would work an end-run around their control of patient data, and be available, to, heaven forbid.... patients, the very people whose health and well being actually depend on it! Not to fear, Mr./Ms. DME -- Mr. Spence writes that "while it's true that Philips offers consumer products, our core products in sleep and home respiratory are prescribed medical devices that require specialized care to help ensure effective therapy and compliance."
We at SleepGuide are staunch advocates of patients' right to access their CPAP data. We believe that the product titans like Respironics and ResMed do patients a disservice when they suppress our access to data about our therapy. Furthermore, and just as important from a business perspective, we believe they ultimately harm themselves, DMEs, sleep labs, clinicians and sleep physicians when they suppress patient access to this data. The reason is that the data shows patients in a very direct, meaningful way the upside to wearing a cumbersome device to bed every night. Also, if something is wrong, a patient can work with clinicians to switch things up, and make the therapy more effective and comfortable. For an industry that sees roughly half of its potential revenue evaporate due to non-compliance, giving access to data isn't only the right thing to do. It's the lucrative thing to do.
If Respironics or others would like to defend the current Respironics position, we would like to hear from them about why it's defensible.