Medcare Acquires SleepTech to Become a Provider of Comprehensive Sleep Solutions


Vol. 13 •Issue 6 • Page 70
Medcare Acquires SleepTech to Become a Provider of Comprehensive Sleep Solutions

When Medcare acquired SleepTech, a manager of hospital-owned sleep treatment centers and developer of Web-based diagnostic measurements, crushing the competition didn’t lead the list of priorities for the two companies.

“Instead, we will be in the business of enhancing operating efficiency, quality and consistency of diagnostic procedures,” said Vyto Kab, president of the newly formed SleepTech Solutions.

“We have much more to gain by helping sleep center owners grow their franchise as opposed to competing with them. This is fundamental. We are not going to be opening up sleep centers with the SleepTech Solutions name.”

This concept may be different than what most in the sleep arena would expect, added Svanbjorn Thoroddsen, Medcare’s chief executive officer.

“We want to be involved in partnering with everyone in this field,” he said. “If you look at the business, all signs are pointing toward very rapid expansion of sleep diagnostics, treatment centers and the volume of patients going through those centers. That will drive demand for what SleepTech Solutions will be providing.”

As a result of this acquisition, which got the official go-ahead last month, Reykjavik, Iceland-based Medcare will be transformed from an international sleep diagnostic equipment developer and manufacturer to a worldwide provider of comprehensive solutions, focusing on the needs of sleep centers and sleep professionals, Thoroddsen said.

SleepTech Solutions, will be headquartered at a 20,000-square-foot facility in Kinnelon, N.J. The new company will comprise Medcare’s existing North American diagnostic equipment sales and customer service operations, SleepTech’s existing network of hospital sleep centers, and a platform of new fast-to-implement and easy-to-use services.

“There’s a need for support for people not only using Medcare equipment but equipment of other manufacturers,” Kab said.

Customers of Medcare and SleepTech aren’t the only ones who will benefit from this merger. Shareholders should be smiling as well.

Medcare expects its revenues to increase to $35 million annually, and the company estimates 70 percent of its revenue will be generated in the United States.

Important Research

Following the acquisition, research still remains a top concern for Thoroddsen and Kab.

Medcare has 30 full-time employees dedicated to research and development, and Kab’s group will present a paper on interscorer reliability at the 2004 annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Philadelphia.

Also, Kab’s research team is currently working on a study showing the relationship between sleep and cardiovascular disease among retired National Football League players.

In early 2003, his work on sleep in the NFL published in The New England Journal of Medicine earned headlines across the country.1 After evaluating 52 players with overnight polysomnography, he and his colleagues found a prevalence rate of 14 percent for sleep-disordered breathing — that’s nearly five times higher than noted in previous studies of similar-aged adults.

A Burning Need

In addition to research, education plays big in Medcare’s future.

“It’s one of the burning needs in the industry,” Thoroddsen said.

To recognize this, Medcare acquired last year the Midwest Sleep and Neurodiagnostic Institute, a sleep school in Rockford, Ill. “We see this as a very important factor in our business — to cater to the need for education about sleep,” he said.

Reference

1. George CFP, Kab V, Levy AM. Increased prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing among professional football players. N Engl J Med. 2003;348:367-8.

For more information about Medcare, visit www.medcare.com or call (888) 662-7632.

Mike Bederka is associate editor of www.medcare.comADVANCE. He can be reached at mbederka@merion.com.

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