Medical equipment, ResMed S8 AutoSet Spirit flow generator and H3i humidifier with packaging, 'ANZ Limited Edition', automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) system, and sectioned flow generator, plastic / metal / polyester, designed and made by ResMed Ltd, Bella Vista, New South Wales, Australia, 2005-2006
The S8 series flow generator is a positive airway pressure device that was released by ResMed in 2006. The system improves the health and quality of life for people suffering from sleep apnoea by providing positive air pressure to the upper airway during sleep.
The major advance of the S8 series is the significant reduction in size - the overall volume of the flow generator has been reduced by 69%. This is important for ensuring patient compliance with treatment - the device is now much easier to transport and can be more easily integrated into a patient's lifestyle and physical environment. The size reduction has been achieved by using new processes and materials in the design and manufacture and reducing the number of components for assembly. This device represents an example of continuing innovation by a leading Australian company and was winner of the Australian Design Award of the Year in 2006.
The S8 AutoSet Spirit flow generator and H3i humidifier were designed and made by ResMed Ltd in Bella Vista, New South Wales in 2005-2006.
The S8 range of devices was launched in the United States of America in October 2005. It was the smallest positive airway pressure device available on the market. The S8 AutoSet Spirit is the premium automatic positive airway pressure model in the S8 range.
The Autoset Spirit flow generator is designed to treat sleep apnoea by providing positive air pressure throughout the night according to the patient's needs. The AutoSet technology detects and responds to subtle changes in the airway. If flow limitation or apnea is detected, the AutoSet gradually increases pressure to bring the airway back to normal. The machine records data about the patients airflow for use by clinicians. Use of the humidifier is optional depending on the needs of the patient.
These devices were the subject of a voluntary recall by ResMed in April 2007. ResMed voluntarily recalled the product after learning that in rare instances -- less than two tenths of one percent (0.2%) -- a short circuit in the power supply connector, a component supplied by a third party, had caused the devices to fail. In only seven cases worldwide, device failures led to thermal damage to the device, with a remote potential to ignite material external to the device.
Australian Registered Designs number 302181 and 302180.
This material was submitted to Standards Australia by ResMed for the 2006 Australian Design Awards judging and subsequently transferred to the Powerhouse Museum for display in the Australian Design Awards exhibition from July 2006 - June 2007.
The S8 system was winner of the 2006 Australian Design Award of the Year. This award is given to a product which, in the opinion of the judges in the Australian Design Awards, is an example of world-leading product design, over and above all of the other products entered that year. In 2006 over 200 entries were received in the Australian Design Awards competition. The judging panel recommended 41 of these products receive an Australian Design Mark and of these, 21 products for an Australian Design Award. The products receiving the Australian Design Award and the Powerhouse Museum Selection were announced at a dinner and awards ceremony on 19th May 2006 at Wharf 8, Sydney.
The history of ResMed began with Professor Colin Sullivan at the sleep clinic of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. In 1979, he studied some patients who were heavy snorers. He noticed that they had apnoea and he guessed that other snorers could also have this condition. As his father was an inventor, he had grown up with the attitude that problems can be solved. He had the idea of supplying pressurised air via the nose (nasal continuous positive airway pressure, or nasal CPAP) to keep his patients' airways open during sleep.
To test the idea, he glued tubes into a patient's nostrils and connected them to a vacuum cleaner (no that's not a joke!) set up to blow air into the tubes. This worked for some patients, although others could not get to sleep while hooked up to the experimental machine.
So Dr Sullivan had developed and tested a treatment for sleep apnoea and he had realised that the condition might be fairly common. He had seen an opportunity to improve many people's quality of life and to create an industry.
His next step was to develop a device to supply the positive air pressure via a mask, rather than through uncomfortable tubes. He patented his first nasal CPAP device in 1981, but further development and design work would be needed to make it suitable for mass production and everyday use. Sullivan approached Dr Peter Farrell, who was then working for a multinational healthcare company, for financial support. Farrell backed the idea and later became the leader of ResMed, the company that grew from their partnership.
The Sullivan Nasal CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) was the first machine to give complete relief from sleep apnoea. The machine was improved to make the flow rate and pressure adjustable to meet individual needs. The sleeping mask was also constantly redesigned to make it much more comfortable. Now sleep apnoea sufferers can sleep soundly and enjoy better quality of life.
The ResCare company, later known as ResMed, was formed in 1989 to manufacture and market the CPAP. By the end of the twentieth century, ResMed operated through offices in the United States, Australia, Germany, France, Sweden, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia, and through a network of distributors in more than 40 other countries. Its main manufacturing base was in Sydney and the company spent 7-8% of its net revenues on research and product development. The company was listed on both the Australian and New York Stock Exchanges and had a total of 186 patents issued and pending for a range of technologies. In 2000 ResMed made the Forbes 200 Best Small Companies in America list for the fourth year in a row. ResMed was named Australian Exporter of the Year in 2006.