Do Not Buy This

A forum for the comparison of PSG systems used for attended sleep studies in a sleep center.

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Do Not Buy This

Postby Showmesleep » Tue Mar 18, 2003 5:26 pm

Okey dokey....in an uncensored way, I would like opinions on what equipment NOT to buy and why. Any help would be appreciated! :lol:
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Postby sleepadmin » Tue Mar 18, 2003 8:00 pm

Generally, you get what you pay for...

if you're budget won't let you buy a nicer system, you're stuck with a funky sysem.

With all things being equal though... I once used a system called Tele-Diagnostic... man-oh-man ](*,) what a headache. From what i understand you can pick one up for cheap.
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Postby Rick » Wed Mar 19, 2003 9:33 pm

I do tech support for a sensor manufacturer (Pro-Tech) and people ask me, since I am also a registered sleep tech and ran a center for 10 years for advice on this topic.
One way to look at this is, as was stated above, the best usually does cost more.
In addition to that you have to figure out what is more important to you; is the ease of set up and beginning acquisition more important than simple scoring/staging steps; what about digital video; company/manufacturer longevity, will they be here next year; setting up the format of reports.
These are good things to prioritize and use in a sort of matrix to help you decide which will fit you best.
Remember to always try out a system, they can hook it up in parallel to what is currently being used so you can do a side by side comparison and get input from night techs and scoring techs.
Hope some of this helps.
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Postby BillA » Wed Mar 19, 2003 10:36 pm

Rick,

I agree with many of your comments. I try to encourage our sales reps to do a complete demo when visiting sleep labs (it wouldn’t hurt to demo sensors before buying them also \:D/ ... Service, support, longevity are all valid issues that should be addressed. From my perspective, it is not unreasonable for a customer to get a great system, at a great price, with great service and support.
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Postby Rick » Wed Mar 19, 2003 10:49 pm

Bill,
Yes, hopefully some of our salespeople and distributors show the products and how they work before people buy the new ones. :P
As to the best costing more, perhaps it should be stated the other way around: you can get an inexpensive sleep data acquisition system but is the money savings really saved or used up in training and retraining as techs come and go. :?
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Postby sleepadmin » Wed Mar 19, 2003 11:03 pm

BillA,

You bring up a very good point I forgot to mention. Customer service/support is something I think many newer labs forget to research thoroughly.

It takes a truley dedicated (and resource rich) manufacturer to provide proficient and timley customer support ... especially at 2 am! This is especially true for newer labs, as their expereince and resources are usually very limited.

My current boss loves the Sandman system, but actually decided on Alice mainly due to customer service (BTW is VERY Good).
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Postby bob » Thu Mar 20, 2003 9:47 pm

I used Telediagnostics for 3 years back in the early 90's and found it to be a pretty good system. I particularly liked the coded keyboard - which was a rarity back then. I use Medcare/Flaga's Embla-Somnologica system now and am very happy with it in every aspect. one reason we purchased it was the ambulatory capability - though that is of little importance in the USA. There is a new version that we are evauating that is in-lab and has more extensive EEG capabilities, more external channels etc.
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Postby Mandy » Thu Mar 20, 2003 10:37 pm

The worst system I've ever used had to be Sasssy by Telefactor. That was about eight years ago though so maybe it's better now but the version we had wasn't user friendly at all and printing the reports was a nightmare. Has anyone else here used that system?

We're using Sensormedics now and it's much, much better than Telefactor. I can't say much for their current tech support though :!: :evil:
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Postby NYsleepyhead » Wed Apr 09, 2003 1:04 am

NCI blows (for sleep applications). :shock: How's that for uncensored. Don't worry though, you are no longer able to buy it because they went out of business. :D This puts a severe hamper on their ability to provide technical support.

Sandman is pretty good. :) I've had no problems with this one.

Alice is simple but completely unexpandable and therefore not good for advanced applications (research). Also, the accessory equipment for Alice is not interchangeable and therefore they have a real racket going for buying supplies.
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Postby sleepadmin » Wed Apr 09, 2003 5:22 am

About Alice: While the sensors are mostly limited to what they supply, the ones they provide are pretty nice (IMHO). I thought some aftermarket companies made some cables for the Alice... I could be wrong though.

On a side note...I heard that Tulane University uses Alice 3 for research :-s
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Postby Rick » Wed Apr 09, 2003 8:09 pm

Being an employee here, Pro-Tech makes sensors for Alice 3 & 4 - the physiologic sensing end. EEG part uses plain old EEG leads with 1.5 mm safety connectors.
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perhaps

Postby sleeptechnmi » Tue Apr 15, 2003 9:55 pm

Okay guys, I agree that to some degree you are correct; ie - a system shouldn't have to cost an arm and a leg in order to get a good system.... HOWEVER...... Regardless, tech support, field support, reasearch and development cost money, period. I am all for the concept of in-expensive, yet good, reliable system but in my 15 years of sleep testing, that is not the case. In order for a company to keep good people, develop a good product/s they must pay their people well and be profitable. Otherwise no-one would buy them. Anyone remember CNS....? Bottom line tech support, R & D, field support all cost a company/any company money. Personally, I am not willing to sacrifice any of the afore mentioned just because of a lower cost. You DO get what you pay for in my opinion. Cheers!
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investigate their support!!!

Postby sleepeasy » Thu Apr 17, 2003 3:48 pm

:idea: best way to find out if you like the support a company gives is to ask the sales rep for the tech support number. test them out during the day and at night! a good sleep company has 24 hour support of some kind and makes emergency calls a priority at night.
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Postby Terese » Wed Aug 04, 2004 4:04 pm

Don't buy REMbrandt/Medcare!
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Postby Rick » Wed Aug 04, 2004 4:59 pm

Terese,
Please post some specifics.
Do you have stock in Tyco and wish that everyone would buy Sandman software?
The above, very tongue in cheek (and it hurt, too).
:wink: :D 8)
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