The recent launch by ResMed Inc. of the Swift LT for Her, the first mask designed "by women and for women," is a bold move for the Sleep Apnea product maker. We at SleepGuide applaud ResMed for considering the needs of its end users, the people who actually use their products day after day. In an industry too often focused on how to please the doctor or the clinician over the patient, this represents a step in the right direction. And who knows? Maybe the features of the mask will truly appeal more to women than a unisex mask. ResMed indicates that the LT for Her can be worn over or under the hair to accommodate a wide range of hair styles, is exceptionally light, has an attractive light blue design, and is the quietest nasal pillows system on the market. The mask also comes with smaller pillow cushions than other ResMed masks.
The question that interests us, though, is what has changed in the Sleep Apnea marketplace that makes it an opportune time for ResMed to launch a product designed just for women? "We did it because women now represent 30% to 50% of newly diagnosed patients going into certain labs," said Kieran T. Gallahue, ResMed's President and Chief Executive Officer, at ResMed's most recent earnings call. A far cry from the public perception of Sleep Apnea as a disorder mostly afflicting middle aged, overweight men. For us, this raises the question as to whether women are underdiagnosed, and why that might be. Gallahue also indicated that the Swift LT for Her is just the first of what promises to be a product line designed specifically for women. For a sense of how ResMed will market to its female end users, we checked out a site ResMed introduced in August 2008: feelgoodsleep.com
. We look forward to a more customer-centric approach from ResMed and other device manufacturers, and will be eager to hear from our female readers about their views on ResMed's new strategic direction.