Brisbane-based obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) specialist Oventus Medical Ltd (ASX: OVN) has received significant new interest in its treatments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company has signed new contracts and undertaken new site launches for its Lab in Lab business model driven by concern regarding the potential role of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) in spreading the COVID-19 virus.
Oventus CEO, Dr Chris Hart said that as literature continues to highlight that CPAP may contribute to COVID-19 spread, effective alternative OSA treatments are being sought.
“Oventus technology is increasingly in the spotlight, and this is driving further demand for our Lab in Lab model from sleep groups, dentists and first responders.”
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has communicated the risk that CPAP may contribute to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The issue is that the CPAP machines may aerosolide the virus when the patient exhales. Anyone who is in the room with the person using the device could be at increased risk of contracting COVID-19.
Dr Hart said that in Ontario, Canada, concern is so significant that Toronto Fire Services’ Chief Medical Officer has issued a directive that fire fighters who suffer from sleep apnoea are not to use their CPAP machines for fear they may contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
Oventus senior management are now working with healthcare providers and the Fire Fighters Union in Toronto, supporting the provision of the O2Vent Optima to fire fighters and Emergency Response Teams.
Dr Hart said the Oventus team is experienced in virtual patient management and remote practice management and has swiftly put in place key initiatives to enable existing Lab in Lab sites to continue to identify OSA patients for treatment. The company has moved to provide online or phone consultations (telehealth) to complete verification as required to have a payer (or insurer) cover device costs and to schedule appointments for patients to be scanned for Oventus oral devices.
The Oventus Lab in Lab model had been implemented across 14 sites prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. Oventus is now working with customers across those sites using its telehealth model to screen and book patients in to receive treatment as soon as the relevant sites are able to safely deliver treatment.
Meanwhile, a new agreement awarding Oventus with a Primary Vendor Status, has been signed with Strong Denture and Snoring Clinics for both supply of O2Vent Optima and clinical support services.
These new agreements take the total number of clinical delivery sites contracted to provide O2Vent Optima devices to patients across the U.S. and Canada to 45 locations.