Buying equip: which is ideal for me?

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

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Buying equip: which is ideal for me?

Postby ReneH » Mon Apr 07, 2003 2:08 am

Hello! All,

I am considering opening a sleep lab and am heavily involved in the process of leasing/buying a sleep lab. I've spoken with some reps, Sensormedics, Cadwell, Bio-Logic and they all have given me some rough figures. I would say that on the average, the monthy cost will be $1100-1500 and buyout for a buck at end of year.

In your learned opinion, which systems would be ideal for me considering these items:

1. 2 patient setup and growing to 4 patient setup sometime after
2. Expandability
3. Reliability
4. Flexible reports
5. Stable software
6. Tech support
7. Price= not an issue but value for the money


Also, what do you think is the most you would pay for any of the sleep lab sytems out there?

I greatly appreciate your help with this tall order.
ReneH
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Postby sleepadmin » Mon Apr 07, 2003 3:46 am

I have not used everything out there, but here's my $.02...

Alice 4 on windows XP- Very collecting tech friendly, stable hardware, and software. Files easily transferable over the internet, easy custom reports, and excellent cutomer care from Respironics. Very good system for sleep diagnostics, but many will agree that it is not suited to research or dual purpose uses (Daytime EEG, etc)

Nicolet - More custom features, nice visual acuity. It's been awile since I have used it, but it runs on Unix I believe (stable software)

Sandman - Again a very nice system, with many features (some cryptic), and excellent visual acuity. One reason I would suggst you don't buy this is they are owned by TYCO... (poor cutomer care).

Rembrandt - Nice system, very portable!
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Postby ReneH » Mon Apr 07, 2003 4:11 am

Sleepadmin,

I appreciate your honesty in your posts, have you any experiences of Sensormedics Sleepsac II? Perhaps from other co-workers.

Also, I am looking at a vendor that will not only take you through the paces of the sleep study itself, but one that can give you guidance on the details of reimbursemts, and other things in regards to opening a sleep lab. From what i hear, Sensormedics people do that and a little more. Also, I do hear some negatives against some of their stuff as well, which makes me have some reservations. Also, Bio-Logic seems to have the best stuff out there, but they do not go in detail in regards to the actual sleep study. No frills form them I hear.

What do you think is a good price for some of the sleep equipment?
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Postby sleepadmin » Tue Apr 08, 2003 5:45 am

Sorry I have no experience with Sensormedics, but I'll ask at the office.

Have you considered hiring a consultant for the reimbursement, marketing, and/or operations of your lab? Personally, I would not buy a sleep system because they offer help with reimbursement. That's like those car dealerships that do your taxes "for free." :-s

I would narrow the systems down first by which system is acceptable. For some labs this may be ease of use, for others it is high sampling rates and high visual acuity. What will the systems be used for? Will they be traveling systems? I can go on and on.

Secondly I would put serious thought into the customer service and tech support the company offers. Call their hotline at 2 am and ask a question. 8-[ How quickly do they replace units when one goes down?

Lastly I'd consider the perks any might offer... reimbursement help, financing deals, mask programs, other bonus equipment, etc. To me, this last factor would only account for a fifth the importance of the first two.

As far as prices go...I have not really "shopped" for systems... my bosses have always done that. I do know a Respironics rep, and I might be able to get you a hook-up if your serious about Alice at all. :wink:
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Postby sleepadmin » Thu Apr 10, 2003 2:34 am

Thought this might help you out,

http://www.advanceforsleep.com/resources/MR_030103_pg69.pdf

(if you have not already seen it)
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which system

Postby sleeptechnmi » Tue Apr 15, 2003 10:30 pm

Rene,
You are facing probably one of the most daunting challanges in evaluating a new system. You mentioned several vendors which all have their stengths and weakness. Other people have spoken here about strength of company backing product and it's importance, which I think is very important. None-the-less, you mentioned Biologics and Sensormedics Sleepsac. I've been a Sensormedics user in the past and I believe that their product name is Alpha or something like somnostar, Biologics is Sleep Scan or something like that. I've used biologics for a couple of years and find it very good. They have my personal endorsement but just wanted to clarify the name discrepency....fyi
Regarding companies that throw in free-bees, (cpaps bipaps etc).... While its nice to get something for "free", the old attage is, "nothing in life is free". -they are making money off of you somewhere......I am extremely leary of putting all of my eggs in one basket - again just my opinion.
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Postby Tech » Mon Apr 21, 2003 3:18 am

I've worked with Sensormedics equipment since '95, currently with the Alpna 4.2 version. In a word, it is an excellent "workhorse" system for the kind of work we do, primarily OSA patients. Stabile, versatile, user (tech) friendly. Their lab setup and training is excellent as well, and your RCP's will get CEU credit for the training. Tech support is less than wonderful, but they have always come through. I'm not sure they are operating in XP operating systems yet thoug, which is an issue regarding HIPPA regulations.

I have seen a version of the Embla system working, which which seemed to be competently designed and easy to use, but I saw nothing but acquisition. I would expect current systems to be good, and thier tech support has a good reputation.

I have worked with the new Grass Telefactors Gamma program, and found it really lacking in flexibility during acquisition. This was a real disappointment for me, as I expected the best equipment under the Grass banner. Lab setup and training was poor. This system was chosen because it was "cheaper." Per the above posts, "you get what you pay for." It is HIPPA-compliant.
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Postby Terese » Wed Aug 04, 2004 4:07 pm

Don't buy REMbrandt/Medcare. Very tech-unfriendly. Computer nerds, yes. Average sleep tech, uh uh.
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