Summer is here! Here are some new products designed to help patients travel easier and faster at the airport, on the road, or off the path.
H2Doze CPAP Water is a great new way to maintain health when traveling with sleep apnea.
Even though most patients know distilled water is essential for CPAP treatment, it’s often hard to find small enough portions when traveling.
Each bottle of H2Doze is labeled so that patients can check it right through airport security. It is cleared by TSA and FAA as medically necessary when accompanied by a CPAP machine.
Patients who travel often may also want to incorporate H2Doze into their regular at-home treatment routine. That way there’s no wasted water to pour out from those gallon jugs!
One 16.9 ounce bottle of H2Doze covers two nights of use.
The new Portable CPAP Battery fits in a handbag or small luggage pocket and has even more capabilities and features to benefit patients.
The battery has 110 volts, which means patients can run a CPAP machine for up to 14 hours. Patients can now also use the battery to run their other devices, such as laptops or curling irons.
The two USB outlets next to the AC outlet can charge cell phones even while running a CPAP machine.
This would be a great item for patients traveling in groups or with family!
The Transcend miniCPAP line helps free patients from the constraints of daily CPAP treatment whether traveling or at home.
They’re the smallest, lightest CPAP devices!
The new Transcend 3 is an upgrade on the classic model. It has a sturdier base and a new swivel nozzle to improve comfort. It’s still compact enough to fit in one hand, and it still weighs less than a pound.
Transcend 3 is also FAA approved, so patients can use it in flight. It’s a go-anywhere device.
Sunset’s portable Mini Mesh Nebulizer is our newest great value option for asthma patients.
We think this mini nebulizer is a fun entry into the portable market! It’s handheld, quiet and fast.
Our Mini Mesh Nebulizer is also very attainable — it’s a great option for cost-conscious patients. The NEB400 makes it possible for patients to leave compressor nebulizers at home.
It runs on just two AA batteries or any USB port.
Sunset will be on the road again this September for the HME News Business Summit in Cleveland, and at Medtrade Atlanta this fall. We hope to see you there!
Staying healthy is an important part of the culture at Sunset, and the team regularly joins in on runs, triathlons, golfing trips and hikes. In addition to outside activities, almost everyone takes the opportunity to incorporate a short fitness routine during the workday.
Here are some of Sunset’s tips for a full and active day at the office, and beyond!
Enjoy your commute
Thinking of creative ways to start your day can set the tone for your entire morning.
Sunset’s Graphic Designer Patrick bikes eight miles to and from work nearly every day (in all seasons), and Vice President of Sales PJ and Maggie, Sunset’s Business Analyst, also cycle into work on occasion.
“I get a cardio workout while commuting, so it saves time,” explains Patrick. “There’s also something about almost always actively moving instead of getting stuck in your car, the subway, or bus that makes it anti-stressful.”
“Some people are intimidated to ride in the city,” he adds, “but I say just try it and in five minutes you’ll see why it’s not scary.”
Take a stand
Once you’re at work, try to find a way to keep the momentum going!
Lead Sales Representative Phil occasionally takes the stairs to Sunset’s 20th floor office instead of the elevators. “It generally only takes around seven to eight minutes, and it gets the heart rate going,” he says.
Standing desks are another great way to stretch out. A recent study showed that they increase concentration and job performance—among other health and wellness benefits.
“I have one and I love it,” says Mike, National Accounts Manager. “I try to stand from 10 a.m. to lunch, and from lunch to 3 or 4 p.m. I feel more energized and less lethargic than just sitting around all day, especially after lunch.”
Get out to lunch
“There are so many studies that depict how workday exercise contributes to attentiveness from employees in the afternoon,” says Christine, Lead Sales Representative at Sunset.
“It’s a good way to get moving and it splits up my day,” adds Emily, Lead Sales Representative. “Since we have a full hour, I can get a solid workout in.”
If you don’t have access to a gym, try packing a brown bag lunch and trekking to an out-of-the-way destination spot for a picnic. Bring a jumprope or small weights for a quick workout.
Make a midday break
Taking a moment to introduce a midday break is a great way to stay grounded. Sunset team members often hold a 3 p.m. mini workout in the building.
“It can be anything from pushups, sit-ups, stretching, to even just closing your eyes and meditating,” says Maggie.
“It’s just a nice little break during the day to stretch out and get a small exercise in,” adds Emily.
The sales team has also been known to participate in group jumping jacks to celebrate office milestones, lunch hour squash tournaments, and spontaneous push-up contests.
Getting up for a drink of water or a face-to-face hello at a nearby office is another way to stay limber and engage with your coworkers during the day.
Take it outside
Outdoors and afterwork fitness activities are a hallmark of Sunset’s culture—and a great way to collaborate outside the office.
“It’s a huge part of building a culture that promotes health, teamwork and friendship,” says PJ. “Not only is it a great way for coworkers to bond, but it also communicates that the company understands a part of being successful is being happy. We want to promote that in whatever way we can while staying productive.”
Consider inviting customers or clients to join in to make meetings even more productive!
National Accounts Manager Nikki, who has organized numerous afterwork activities, participated in hikes in California’s Runyon Canyon Park and a walk in Muir Woods.
PJ and Brenton, Sunset’s Director of Business Development, recall climbing a 14,000-foot mountain in Colorado with a customer.
Maintaining fitness may seem like a full-time commitment, but in many cases, it’s okay to allow for flexibility. Sunset team members have been known to engage in the occasional eating competition and dessert cook-off, as well as Friday happy hours.
Think of it as a way to get even more out of your day!
Tonya, Lead Software Developer
Sunset is happy to feature fitness inspiration and Lead Software Developer Tonya, who will compete in her fifth powerlifting competition on April 27, 2019.
Tonya took an interest in fitness routines in 2011, when her mom encountered health issues.
“She said things that got me thinking about taking better care of myself,” says Tonya. “In the summer of 2017, a friend invited me to come watch a powerlifting meet they were competing in. I was hooked. I kept watching the event and thinking ‘I can do this.’ It’s the first sport that ever really resonated with me.” She competed in her first powerlifting event later that year.
Tonya is a part of Sunset’s Bloomingdale team, and she exercises once a week on lunch break. She continues her workout routine at the gym three or four days a week.
“My meet prep consists of working with heavier and heavier weights on the three lift types in powerlifting (squat, bench press, and deadlift),” says Tonya. “My off season training is more about conditioning and building endurance and strength for moving forward.”
Most recently, Tonya took first place at a powerlifting meet in January.
On April 27, Tonya will compete in a 2XL powerlifting event at 20 Yorktown Convenience Center in Lombard. The event will run from 5:00—8:00 p.m. and Tonya’s powerlift goal is 160 pounds.
Here are just a few of the intriguing books Sunset Healthcare Solutions staff members have lined up to read during the coldest time of the year. Please let us know if you decide to read along!
Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker
“A thoughtful tour through the still dimly understood state of being asleep … Why We Sleep is a book on a mission. Walker is in love with sleep and wants us to fall in love with sleep, too. And it is urgent. He makes the argument, persuasively, that we are in the midst of a ‘silent sleep loss epidemic’ that poses ‘the greatest public health challenge we face in the 21st century’ … Why We Sleep mounts a persuasive, exuberant case for addressing our societal sleep deficit and for the virtues of sleep itself. It is recommended for night-table reading in the most pragmatic sense.” —New York Times Book Review
Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, Alex Hutchinson
“Want to achieve more? Often that means you have to do more — and Alex will show you how.” —Inc. (”6 Great Business Books to Read in 2018”)
Silence, Erling Kagge
“The book expands the concepts of silence and noise beyond their aural definitions and engages with modern culture’s information overload, need for constant connection, and cult of busyness….Great pleasure lies in Kagge’s creative investigations. The reader leaves more mindful of the swirl of distraction present in everyday life.” —Publishers Weekly
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Daniel H. Pink
“Daniel H. Pink’s deeply researched but never boring study could be a turning point. College students and business managers alike may find new ways to organize their schedules and ease difficult decisions by using the ‘hidden pattern’ of time to their advantage.” —Wall Street Journal
Can’t Hurt Me, David Goggins
“Guaranteed to galvanize more than a few couch potatoes into action.”
— Kirkus Reviews
Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps, and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind, Nick Littlehales
“Nick Littlehales has reconfigured the bedrooms of a legion of international sporting stars . . . He has a unique and encyclopedic knowledge.” —Guardian
The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying, Nina Riggs
“Moving and insightful…Riggs writes with humor; the memoir is rife with witty one-liners and musings on the joys and challenges of mothering and observations on the importance of loving relationships…In this tender memoir Riggs displays a keen awareness of and reverence for all the moments of life—both the light, and the dark, ‘the cruel, and the beautiful.’” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
We’re fascinated by the nebulizer’s international roots, from German steam inhalers to hand bulb nebulizers, vaporizers and atomizers.
In the 1960s, when engineers experimented with heat and ultrasonic technology, they produced sleeker, more portable devices—incorporating frequency and pressure to produce finer medication particles and faster treatment.
Vibrating Mesh Technology (VMT), which emerged in the 1990s, still stands as a breakthrough discovery for the industry. VMT aeresolizes medication through a tiny, vibrating disk with over a thousand laser-drilled holes. Presently, VMT fuels a family of devices celebrated for their ultra rapid treatment time, low noise and petite size: the mesh nebulizers.
But, how can these portable, often handheld devices produce such power? Or, why aren’t we still using the portable, bicycle pump-styled nebulizer known in 1800s France as “the Pulverisateur”?
The answer is piezoelectricity —which is a mysterious-sounding word we should investigate.
Did you know that the word “electricity” pulls from the classic Greek word elektron, which translates to “amber”—as in, the gem?
Though we often use it as an ornament, amber is actually fossilized tree resin that was an ancient curiosity due to its mysterious attributes.
According to popular lore, Greek scientists noticed that the sun-toned stone attracted bits of fiber—and attempts to remove the material by rubbing it merely intensified the magnetic effect.
Though the first study on piezoelectricity emerged in France in 1880 (just after the Pulverisateur), this amber exercise is still used in grade school science lessons to demonstrate the phenomenon of electrostatic charge.
The Greek tale—specifically, their futile attempts to rub the fabric off—produced the prefix piezo, which is Greek for “to press,” or squeeze.
So, “piezoelectricity” simply refers to the electrical charge that accumulates in certain solids (like amber) when they are pressed, or undergo changes in pressure.
However! Further research tells us that not just any solid will work.
Topaz and tourmaline are piezoelectric—but glass is not. Piezoelectric material is almost always a crystal or ceramic solid, as both tend to have symmetrical atomic structures that can convert one type of energy to another (…more on this later). Of the crystals, quartz is the most commonly used piezoelectric material.
How does it work?
If you were to physically squeeze a piece of quartz, an invisible electrical charge would flow through it.
What’s happening, is that the pressure is changing the arrangement of its symmetrical atomic structure. Some of the atoms are drawing closer to each other and others further apart. This effect causes the crystal to “polarize,” sending positive charge to one side of the material and negative charge to the other, like a magnet. Or a tiny battery.
With the same concept, when engineers pass voltage through the quartz, the atoms squeeze themselves, vibrating back and forth and creating a charge. It’s this second feature that makes small devices run.
Quartz watches and clocks operate by this principle of piezoelectricity. Electrodes connect to an internal quartz crystal, charging it with a signal. When the quartz polarizes, it produces a reliable time-keeping frequency!
The contact microphone is another great example of piezo power. This tiny device contains a piezo assembly—either ceramic or a very thin layer of crystals, mounted on a disk—that can convert sound wave vibrations into amplified sound.
Acoustic musicians often mount these microphones directly onto their instruments, plugging the attached cable into an amplifier or recording unit. When the instrument emits sound wave vibration, the piezo disk converts this to audible sound—and boosts quieter instruments like violin… or ukelele!
Unlike jet, or compressor, nebulizers and most ultrasonic models, the mesh nebulizer almost always utilizes a piezoelectric assembly. This setup is ideal for these sleek, pared down handhelds, with their small but extremely mighty vibrating internal disks.
At Convexity Scientific, Chief Commercial Officer Geoff Matous explains that the pocket-sized Flyp Portable Nebulizer uses piezoelectric technology to fuel its powerhouse mesh disk, which vibrates almost silently at the speed of 111,000 times per second!
“The piezoelectric assembly is a ceramic ring plus stainless steel mesh that sits directly in contact with the medication in the reservoir,” explains Matous.
Since Flyp’s piezo disk is right up against the solution, Matous explains, it is technically categorized as an “active” mesh nebulizer. Passive mesh nebulizers generally have a disk and a separate piezo element or horn, which generates frequencies to push the fluid up through the disk.
When Flyp’s piezo disk becomes polarized by the surrounding signal of voltage, frequency and wave form, it vibrates and moves medication organically through its holes, producing micro droplets and a consistent, inhalable mist.
One clinical application difference to note between active and passive mesh nebulizers is that delivery performance with suspensionmedication—Budesonide, for example—is commonly more reliable with active mesh. Presumably, the internal layout also contributes to the active mesh nebulizer’s compact size.
So, the next time you pick up your mesh nebulizer, think of the unique and fascinating technology that’s fueling it.
In addition to helping you maintain optimal health, it might lead to an interesting conversation!
Sunset Healthcare Solutions has committed itself to improving sleep health for sleep apnea and COPD sufferers for over a decade. Our CPAP masks are designed to give patients from all backgrounds an affordable, high quality option for sleep.
Yet, it can still be hard for all of us to get a good night’s rest. One of our favorite methods to wind down—and lay down—is the use of music. But, what kind of tunes help us relax and sleep—and why?
Let’s start with the very basics: noise.
In the 1800s, botanist Robert Brown observed microscopic particles suspended in water, and noted the random, continuous, yet rhythmic motion. (Source) Today, scientists refer to this movement as Brownian motion. This motion directly corresponds to what scientists then termed brown noise, which has a correlating random and continuous sound signal.
Though ascribing colors to sound seems esoteric, anyone who has used a sound machine is likely familiar with the usage.
White noise is a popularly-used term with sound machines, and is reminiscent of an old TV. Many sound machines use pink noise, a slightly higher frequency that the ear perceives as “more flat.” (Source)
Science of Sound
Many cultures have used music to improve patient wellbeing, and today’s doctors continue integrating it as a part of physical therapy and stress reduction. (Source)
In modern art, experimental musicians like Pauline Oliveros and Annea Lockwood worked with synthesizers and sounds, consulted kinesiologists, and experimented with tones to help relaxation and focus. (Source)
As recently as 2011, a British instrumental group collaborated with scientists on a song specifically designed to help sleep. Marconi Nation’s “Weightless” has a percussive pulse that matches and slows the heartbeat, reputedly lowers blood pressure and was voted the most relaxing song of all time by a panel of listeners!
The origin of music written to relax, or mood music, is generally traced to composer Erik Satie. (Source) In the 1800s, he began writing what he playfully termed “furniture music,” which he intended to blend into the noises of the environment.
Satie saw it as a melodic backdrop for dinner parties—but, also, as music that would be calming and neutralize street noises.
Many will recognize the minimal and drifting nature of “Gymnopedie No. 1,” even if the title isn’t immediately familiar. Queue up Satie’s three “Gymenopedies” to create a contemplative space for relaxing or winding down!
In the late 1960s, avant-garde musicians like Terry Riley and Philip Glass started composing music to set a mood of relaxation and contemplation. Riley even held all-night concerts, where enthusiastic attendees brought along hammocks and sleeping bags. (Source)
Mass Market Relaxation
Perhaps the most well known name of relaxation music, Muzak, emerged in the ’50s with tunes written and sold to play in elevators and at dinner parties.
Muzak piped in soothing strains that were simple, under-arranged and, by the 1960s and 70s, ubiquitous. During the launch of Apollo 11, astronauts reportedly listened to Muzak to calm their nerves as they propelled toward the moon! (Source)
The Muzak corporation enjoyed a healthy run, continuing all the way into the late 1990s.
In part, a reaction to Muzak, musician Brian Eno released his album, “Music for Airports” in 1978 and officially coined the musical term “ambient.” (Source) In the liner notes, Eno said he saw ambient music as an extension of Muzak, in that it “must be as ignorable as it is interesting.” However he hoped to create something open for artistic interpretation. (Source)
Since the release of that album, ambient music has become a well established genre. Its characteristic washes of sound and slow pace make it great for relaxing!
A World of Noise
With the help of music streaming platforms, listeners can now assemble and share relaxation playlists with the world. Soft, instrumental music, like calm jazz, ambient music or reverb-laden dream pop prevail. However, so do more structured selections, such as pop hits from Ed Sheeran or Adele.
It’s clear that many sounds work for relaxation!
We thought we’d share some serene songs and sounds to help you relax, get your best sleep, and maintain optimal health.
Please feel free to share our playlist with others!
For other tools to maintain sleep hygiene, for CPAP masks, oxygen and respiratory gear, please check us out at www.Sunsethcs.com or reach out to one of our sales experts at 800-578-6738.
We added new retail items to our line to add comfort to CPAP and oxygen therapy.
Bring the power of holistic healing to your CPAP therapy with these 16 unique and refreshing aromatherapy scents. The aromatherapy uses calming scents to make your overall CPAP experience more enjoyable.
To use our new aromatherapy kit simply place one drop of aromatherapy into the white diffusion pad. Then either place the diffuser stand directly beneath your machine’s air filter or bend the legs of the diffuser base to make an elevated stand. Natural oils create comforting sensations and help to soothe and relax.
Our starter kit includes the minty fresh Clear scent, made from peppermint, lime and soothing lavender. The starter kit also includes the more calming Peace scent, a relaxing scent made from French lavender, clary sage and marjoram to enhance a restful sleep. All of our aromatherapy products are made with all natural essential oils.
The diffusion pads are completely reusable. We recommend using the same dedicated pad for each type of oil. Scented pads may be stored in the included plastic bags to preserve the scent.
Specialty pillows designed for CPAP users to allow comfortable sleep for all mask types in any position. The cut outs on the left and right sides of the pillow allow the user to be comfortable when sleeping with any mask.
The CPAPmax offers 4 pillows in one. One side is memory foam or flip it over for a standard fiber pillow. There’s also a ¾ in. foam layer in the center of the pillow that can be removed to adjust the thickness of the pillow. Additional pillow styles and replacement covers also available.
Petroleum-free lotion with Aloe vera and vitamins A & E. Apply at beginning of treatment and as needed to maintain soft skin and eliminate discomfort from dry/cracking skin. Use to moisturize the nose, lip and over the ear where friction may cause discomfort from the oxygen cannula or CPAP mask. Prevent chafing, irritation, dryness or cracking.
Unlike the initial set up revenue, resupply revenue streams in steadily over a long period time. The replenishment market for sleep therapy can be lucrative especially with cash items like tubing comfort wraps or cleaning supplies which need to be bought regularly. Instead of putting your energy into building new customer base to increase revenue, try putting more focus on your current customer base by providing your existing customers with the best most complete care possible by establishing a good resupply schedule.
Emerging technologies and lower cost alternatives present new opportunities.
With competitive bidding looming on the horizon, and reimbursements potentially being cut by 40-50 percent, many HME providers are looking for lower cost alternatives to save their profit margins. We at Sunset Healthcare Solutions sell masks from nearly every manufacturer, so we’re often asked about sales trends in the respiratory industry. Recently we have seen a spike in lower-cost masks, as providers are looking to turn away from masks that carry a hefty price tag. Also, masks that fit a unique niche in the marketplace are doing well, since HMEs want to stand out from their competition and explore alternatives that fit the specific needs of their clients. In this article we’ll explore some of the options available and what you should look for when selecting masks.
In terms of selecting a brand, we have found that while sleep doctors or labs might be partial to a certain brand because they like the sales rep who visits their office every week, studies have shown that end-users do not tend to have the same brand recognition for their mask. In fact, many PAP patients don’t even know the name of the mask they are using. Often patients are open to trying a new mask as long as it’s comfortable and works for them. So if you have doctors or labs who do not prescribe a certain brand of mask, you have the freedom to find alternatives that fit the needs of your patient while also saving you money. There are many types of masks in the market such as InnoMed, RespCare, Sunset, SleepWeaver or the new Tap-Pap mask that are lower cost than the traditional name brand manufacturers.
Above all, your masks need to work for your patient, so ask them what they are looking for and try to find a mask that fits those needs. For some clients, a lightweight mask might be the most important requirement, while others might prefer one that reduces red marks or eases their claustrophobia symptoms. Once you find out what your patients are looking for, do some research into alternatives to masks you currently buy:
• Go online to review websites like cpap.com or cpaphelpdesk.com to see what other patients are saying about the masks you are less familiar with.
• Ask manufacturers for samples to let your patients try them—many are happy to give customers a sample or free trial as a way to gain additional business.
• If you are not able to get a free sample, most manufacturers have a money back guarantee so if you or your clients are not satisfied with the masks, you can return them at no cost.
We have had particularly good feedback on the following masks that are all available at a price that allows profit after competitive bidding reimbursements go into effect:
RespCare Aloha Mask: It’s gotten great reviews on cpap.com, is very lightweight, quiet and has fully adjustable pillows to get a good seal.
TAP-Pap: This mask is new to the market and is already one of the top selling nasal pillow masks. It has a mouthpiece to hold it in place, so it completely eliminates the need for headgear.
Breeze SleepGear: This classic mask has been around for a while and continues to be popular with nasal pillow users because it doesn’t have straps against the cheeks and has seven pillow sizes to fit everyone.
Sunset Deluxe Nasal Mask: Sunset’s newest nasal mask is extremely lightweight and has a replacement cushion for added reimbursement.
SleepWeaver Advance and Élan: If you haven’t tried a cloth mask yet, we recommend it. The Advance mask is one of our top sellers and the newer Élan is not far behind.
Sunset Full Face Mask: This popular mask is the one-piece design that has the same features as the older generation Probasics Zzz-Mask that many patients loved. Probasics has discontinued the mask but it’s still available through Sunset.
Fisher & Paykel Flexifit 431: This mask features much of the same technology of their newer Forma mask such as the glider strap and under chin design, but it’s an older generation so it comes at a lower price. As a bonus, they included all three size cushions in the same box so you only have to stock one model.
Sunset Deluxe Full Face Mask: Available this April, this new Deluxe Full Face mask is ultra-lightweight because they removed the T-bar forehead support. That also created a clear line of sight which is great for claustrophobic patients.
If you try a new mask and isn’t exactly right for your patient, give that feedback to the manufacturer. You would be surprised by how often those little tips can make a big difference. When Sunset launched their new Deluxe CPAP masks earlier this year, we listened to the feedback from several of our customers and added some additional features, like an extra swivel at the connection, which would make the mask more comfortable for active sleepers.