Dr. Chris Hart, CEO, Oventus Medical
For patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a common and serious medical condition, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most widely prescribed treatment. Adherence to CPAP has remained poor over the past several decades and is burdensome long-term for the patient. For those seeking a substitute for CPAP, Oventus Medical provides a unique and robust solution for treatment.
Invention from necessity! In addition to treating patients who were experiencing difficulties with maintaining treatment for OSA, Dr. Chris Hart, CEO of Oventus Medical has had firsthand experience. He developed the O2Vent® out of necessity, as he could not breathe through his nose making treatment for his sleep apnea unbearable. To fix the problem, “I took saliva ejector tubes and cut them to fashion into the sleep apnea oral appliance. The purpose was to allow air to flow to the back of the throat bypassing the nose and soft palate and stabilizing the tongue base. From here, O2Vent® came into being,” says Dr. Hart.
Nasal congestion issues from any cause, including side effects from CPAP, contribute to increased nasal resistance which promotes a patient to breathe through their mouth. Mouth breathing is considered unhealthy breathing and can worsen OSA.
While the O2Vent® provides for traditional mandibular advancement, the addition of the patented airflow channel addresses the entire upper airway.
It avoids obstruction from the tongue, soft palate and lateral walls of the upper airway that result from increased negative intrathoracic pressure. The integration of the airway management technology (drawing air in through the channel), creates an anatomical substitute to the congested “human nose”, reducing the inclination to mouth breathe.
2019 has been a pivotal year with the entrance of the O2Vent® Optima mandibular advancement device. It is currently available in the US, Canada and Australia. The O2Vent® Optima is a customized oral device, 3D printed with medical grade nylon. The Oventus engineering team’s advanced skills design the devices with a focus on quality and precision within 5 microns’, to maximize patient fit and comfort. Through the O2Vent.com web portal, the process is provided to the dental professional via a digital workflow. The digital workflow streamlines the end to end process, from scanning the patient, to ordering, to final delivery.
Most exciting is the newest innovative product, ExVentTM. The ExVentTM is an accessory used with the O2Vent® products. ExVentTM functions as a one-way resistor valve which prolongs the expiratory phase of the breathing cycle. This creates positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP).
“The patient generates their own “PEEP” which increases the effectiveness of the oral appliance. In effect, we are able to take the problem of mouth breathing and turn it into a solution,” states Dr. Hart. In a clinical study , the median reduction in the apnea hypopnea index (AHI) improved 37 percent from the oral appliance alone, with 45 percent of patients achieving an AHI of <10. The ExVentTM is available in Australia and Canada with clinical trials starting soon in the US.
Oventus has revolutionized treatment alternatives for OSA, capturing sleep specialists’ attentions. Innovation drives the company with several products in the pipeline to address additional needs for sleep apnea patients as well as in other areas such as orthodontics, conscious sedation and sports. This holds immense potential for the company as they set out to establish a presence in various markets, according to Dr. Hart.