In this interview, Dr. Krainin talks with Thomas Miller, General Manager of Breas' Sleep Business department.
When I was first introduced to the Z1 it was under the HDM brand. What is the relationship between HDM and Breas?
When I first became involved in 2016, Breas and HDM were both owned by a private equity company. They have since been purchased by Fosun Pharma and integrated into one company. HDM is the consumer-facing arm of the company and is currently being phased out.
I understand that Breas is a Swedish company. Scandinavia is known for its sleek, modern design ethic. Do you think that influenced the design of the “Z” series travel CPAP machines?
The design of the Z1 CPAP was actually originally developed in Boston. The plan is for future iterations to be designed in Sweden. The Swedish influence can be seen in our ventilation products today. Very sleek, modern clean lines.
The newest iteration of the Z series, the Z2 CPAP, debuted in 2019. What are the major differences from the Z1?
The new Z2 has many improvements over the Z1. The most notable ones are a new motor that is 29% quieter, new auto start/stop feature, and an increase in machine reliability of 91%.
I remember the first time I held a Z1 in my hand. I was shocked at its lightness How does the weight of the Z2 compare to the other travel CPAP machines on the market today?
Due to the very compact size of the Z2 we were able to make it the lightest device on the market today.
I became aware of the concept of the HME (heat moisture exchanger) through the Z1. What has Breas’ role been in the development of the HME?
The HME came from a widely used product in hospitals for ventilated patients. We adopted it for CPAP use and it has been very successful. If you want to experience exactly how the HME works you can breathe into one directly and then inhale. Near the end of the inhale you can clearly feel when the moisture is gone.
Regarding the PowerShell with extended life battery for the Z2, how many hours of usage will the average CPAP user get with this accessory?
There are several things that come into play with how long a battery will last: pressure being delivered, mode (auto vs. fixed), altitude, Z breath setting, tube resistance, and battery age/usage time. With the new extended life battery the average should be ~ 10 hours. Some people will get 2 night use before needing to charge the battery. One benefit of having a battery is that, if the power goes out, the battery will automatically take over and therapy will not be interrupted.
That should be reassuring for users who live in areas where power frequently goes out.
Who is the ideal customer for the Z2 and why?
The Z2 was designed for travel and “off the grid" operation. It can also be used on an airplane. So if someone travels and wants to save significant space in their luggage, needs to sleep on a plane, or is going camping, the Z2 is an excellent choice.
What do you think the Z2 does better than the other portable CPAP machines on the market?
There are some really good travel options on the market. The advantage the Z2 is that it is ultra-small, extremely the light, hvs an LCD screen for easy operation, and does not require a special mask. And it is made in the US! In the Boston area to be exact.
Can you let us in on any new products that are in the pipeline?
Well I can’t give you to much info here but I will say the Swedish design team has some great ideas!
Tom Miller has spent his entire professional career in the medical products field. He has led teams in Sale, Marketing, Healthcare Economics, Customer Service and Education. He had worked closely with engineering and holds 3 patents.