Electromed has entered into new agreements with two home medical equipment distributors to enhance the distribution of and facilitate access to its SmartVest Airway Clearance System for people with respiratory problems, such as bronchiectasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cystic fibrosis, in the United States.
SmartVest was designed to help deliver high frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) therapy, which uses rapid pulses that squeeze the abdomen and upper body. The mechanical stimulus will induce “mini coughs” that can help loosen mucus trapped inside the lungs, propelling it up the respiratory tract where it can be removed by suction or coughing it out.
To date, HFCWO has become an integral component of mucus clearance therapy for people with cystic fibrosis. More recent clinical studies in people with bronchiectasis have demonstrated the therapeutic benefit of SmartVest for this population.
Use of the SmartVest has been shown to help stabilize lung function, reduce the annual rate of exacerbations (periods in which the lung function gets worse), and to decrease antibiotic use (indicative of fewer serious infections).
“The SmartVest system is designed to make HFCWO treatments as effective, convenient, and comfortable as possible, so patients can breathe easier and live better with improved respiratory function,” according to a press release from Electromed.
The company has now partnered with two U.S. distributors, one national and one regional, who were not identified in the announcement.
The distributor partners will sell SmartVest systems directly to patients who have been prescribed HFCWO by their doctors beginning in the first fiscal quarter of 2020. Electromed anticipates that its primary source of revenue will continue to be direct sales of SmartVest.
“The homecare distribution channel expands physician and patient access to the SmartVest in certain areas of the United States and broadens exposure of the SmartVest brand,” said Kathleen Skarvan, president and CEO of Electromed. “The direct-to-patient and provider channel will continue to be our primary focus for homecare revenue.”
Skarvan added, “Expanding sales channels through homecare distribution will complement our direct sales efforts and support growth initiatives to expand the underserved bronchiectasis market and acceptance of high frequency chest wall oscillation therapy with SmartVest.”