CleveMed has been offering monitoring devices for sleep disorders testing for about a decade, but just three years ago decided to add services to its offerings, propelling forward the company’s growth.
Hani Kayyali, president and CEO of Cleveland-based CleveMed, said the company is projecting 40% growth in revenue this year, following 19% and 27% revenue growth in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
In part, that’s driven by its timing in the market, which Kayyali said has an increased awareness of home sleep testing. “So there’s more and more demand for again, a convenient and less expensive way of diagnosing sleep apnea, which is in the home,” he said.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly starts and stops.
About a decade ago, CleveMed launched two sleep monitors, SleepScout and Sapphire, which were larger monitors designed for in-lab use. In 2011, the company launched SleepView, now its flagship monitoring device, which is portable and available for use in the home.
As SleepView took off, CleveMed realized it would need support services and rose to meet that demand. Three years ago, the company began offering SleepView Direct, a mail order service that served as a logistical solution for health care providers. It’s been growing by about 10% a month for the past year and a half.
“Being a small company, we’re nimble and agile, and so we respond to market demands quickly,” Kayyali said.
Once a patient is screened for obstructive sleep apnea, a physician can send an order to CleveMed to fulfill the test and send a sleep monitor to the patient. This, Kayyali said, allows sleep physicians and their staff to focus on patient care and not have to worry about inventory and scheduling patients for sleep studies.
“We handle all of those logistical things for the sleep physicians,” he said.
CleveMed also offers the option of its own sleep technologists to score the data and test results, a service that helps some sleep physicians with high patient demand, he said.
Vijay Iyer, vice president of business development for BioEnterprise, said this type of strategy — integrating services as part of an innovative offering — isn’t uncommon. When delivering a technology offering, companies can find there are complexities in doing so, which “requires you to answer and gives you opportunities to add more offerings and services to what you can charge for,” he said.
“So it allows you to kind of derive more value from the market, from the company’s perspective,” Iyer said. “And of course we at BioEnterprise like that because it also broadens the economic impact that company can have, because typically it involves more jobs, better workforce development … so overall it’s a very positive thing.”
CleveMed’s technologies and services are projected to be used in more than 40,000 studies this year, up from 30,000 last year, Kayyali said.
At the end of July, CleveMed was issued a new patent titled “Method and device for sleep analysis,” which covers the collection of patient data from standard home sensors and the data transfer via internet, cellular or wired methods, among others. Kayyali said the company expects to receive three more key patents this year.
“We have been fortunate enough to have a strong intellectual property patents to help us in securing these patents,” he said.
Insurance has also been a main driver in the increasing awareness of home sleep testing as a monitoring option. They’re driving solutions that are more convenient and less costly, like SleepView.
“They’re recognizing that OK, well this is now a major cost,” Kayyali said. “They would like to essentially find solutions. … Insurance companies are driving to a large degree the home sleep testing solution.”
CleveMed has 13 full-time employees, with plans to hire at least two more before the end of the year, as well as 10 part-time employees and four contractors.
They’re on track to again have 18 full-time employees, which was their total about five years ago before having to cut staff. Many were switched to part-time, and as the company grows, it’s restoring some back to full-time and rehiring others, Kayyali said.
“Sometimes small businesses will have to go through the ups and downs,” he said. “And we have gone through the down period and certainly now going forward, we believe this will continue to be a strong upward trajectory and we have been showing that through the growth over the past couple of years.”