Bleep removes the mask

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Monday, April 29, 2019

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Bleep is making headgear a thing of the past with its new DreamPort Sleep Solution, a mask-less CPAP interface.

“We try to be a little bit disruptive because it’s a disruptive product,” said Alan Greene, Bleep’s chief marketing officer. 

Unlike traditional CPAP masks, the DreamPort attaches to the outside of the nose with medical grade adhesive strips.

At 0.9 ounces, the DreamPort is one of the lightest CPAP interfaces in the industry, and is covered by Medicare and most insurances, company officials say. 

“The most important thing is that we eliminate leaks,” said Greene. “There’s also no pressure sores and skin breakdowns, because when stopping leaks, the natural human tendency is to tighten (the mask) down more.”

Founder Stuart Heatherington, a registered sleep technologist and CPAP user, came up with the idea about seven years ago at a sleep conference. Struck by inspiration, Heatherington woke up at 2:30 a.m. in his hotel room and drew the design. The next day, he went to a hardware store and built the first prototype.

While the idea came relatively easy, Greene says the process of getting the product to the market has been “a real learning experience.”

“There are all kinds of obstacles and we continue to learn, whether it's manufacturing issues, marketing issues—you name it, we’ve come across it—and we’ve all been schooled,” he said. “We’re learning as we go.”

The DreamPort is currently available through a handful of partners: The CPAP Shop, Direct Home Medical, Sleep Restfully and CPAPXchange; however, that list is slowly growing.

“We're primarily direct to consumer right now,” said Greene. “We do have a handful of regional DMEs and it’s available to all DMEs. It’s the kind of thing where any new product is going to take time for that traction to build up.”

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