Vapotherm [NYSE: VAPO]: Breathing New Life into Respiratory Support Systems
Joe Army, President and CEO
Corridors bustling with doctors, nurses attending patients, ward personnel guiding the newly admitted; it was another busy day at aregional medical center when an ambulance arrived with a 60-year-old patient having difficulty in breathing. The medical history showed that the patient was already suffering from end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She was taken to the hospital’s Emergency Department with tachypnea, nasal flaring, bilateral wheezing and a wet cough. The team treating her knew her well, and in the past, had put her on non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) to manage these symptoms along with her hypercapnia. But they also knew she didn’t tolerate NIPPV well and last time had to be intubated. Luckily, the hospital had recently invested in a mask-free non-invasive ventilation (NIV) tool developed by Vapotherm [NYSE: VAPO]. The doctors started the mask-free NIV at 25L/min with a 60 percent oxygen blend, and the patient immediately showed rapid improvements with a reduction in shortness of breath. The final result was even more astounding. Instead of spending days hooked to NIPPV in the ICU, the patient was able to make a quick recovery with Vapotherm’s mask-free support tool and was discharged the next day.
So, what’s under the hood of Vapotherm’s cutting-edge respiratory solutions that make them so compelling and robust? The answer lies in the company’s breakthrough high velocity therapy, which provides physicians with a fast and safe way to provide treatment for undifferentiated respiratory distress with one single tool. “Our motivation for this technology was to provide a more comfortable and less-intrusive respiratory support option for the patients,” says Joe Army, president and CEO of Vapotherm.
High velocity therapy is more than an upgrade to traditional high flow oxygen delivery. It is also a ventilatory support tool capable of treating both type I and type II respiratory distress. According to Army, a perfect analogy for how high velocity therapy works would be to think of a garden hose. Imagine wanting to wash a muddy bucket, but the velocity of the water flow isn’t making a dent.
As soon as you put your thumb on the nozzle, the velocity increases even through the water flow stays the same, and you can more effectively wash the bucket. The gas flow within the respiratory system follows a similar principle. Unlike other highflow oxygen products, this tenet can flush dead space faster using small-bore cannulas instead of the conventional large-bore cannulas. “This is what differentiates us from conventional high flow devices,” says Army. Moreover, high velocity therapy comes with disposable patient circuits (artificial conduit to relay gases between the device and a patient) that are simple to set up.
Given the versatility and comfort of the device, Vapotherm is now quickly becoming a key contributor to the front lines of the pandemic crisis. The disposable patient circuit, especially, has proven to be useful during the pandemic as it is discarded between patients, allowing the device to be disinfected after each use without extensive effort. “It takes less than five minutes to disinfect a breathing circuit and get them back in line,” says Army. In addition to Vapotherm’s high velocity therapy, the new oxygen assist module (OAM) has also turned out to be boon to COVID-19 patients. The OAM helps keep patients in the oxygenation range set by their physician and is already cleared for sale in the EU. It is currently designated as a breakthrough technology by the FDA as efforts continue to clear it for US markets.
Up to this day, Vapotherm has treated over 2.2 million patients around the world with its high velocity therapy. Continuing this streak of stepping up to help, Vapotherm will expand its production capacity. Last year, the company had launched three new products, all of which have witnessed a significant uptrend in the medical market. Army believes that the true success behind these products is paved by its skilled and innovative workforce. He is extremely grateful to his workforce and supply chain partners who have made priceless contributions to the company’s growth. And, with this robust team, Vapotherm is driven to support its customers in their quest to treat the respiratory distress of COVID-19 faster.
Vapotherm is also poised to ensure the welfare of its own employees amid the pandemic’s stress. For this, the company has set down three principles to dictate its operation: maintaining a safe workplace, meeting the needs of customers, and making high velocity therapy available to a greater number of affected people. Army is resolute that the current crisis won’t be able to dampen the progress of the company. “We, at Vapotherm, will continue developing the next-generation technologies that will allow us to treat patients throughout the care continuum,” concludes Army.
Description Vapotherm is a medical device manufacturer specializing in the development of the breakthrough high velocity therapy, which provides physicians with a fast and safe way to provide treatment for undifferentiated respiratory distress with one single tool. Vapotherm is quickly becoming a key contributor to the medical field during the pandemic crisis with its state-of-the-art portfolio of respiratory support solutions. The disposable patient circuit, especially, has proven to be useful during the pandemic as the systems can be disinfected after each use without extensive effort. In addition to high velocity therapy, Vapotherm’s new oxygen assist module has also turned out to be boon to COVID-19 patients
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