UPODS marries comfort, compliance in Uni-flo2

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Monday, July 30, 2018

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. – The Uni-flo2 single nasal cannula from UPODS has been on the market since 2016, but the company hasn’t put the full weight of a marketing campaign behind the program until this year.

The company, which has hired strategic marketing communications firm CPR, also obtained verification for coverage for the Uni-flo2 under HCPCS code A4615 this year.

“We’ve invented something that provides the best possible comfort for patients,” said Campbell Cauthen, who invented the Uni-flo2 with Dr. Hugh Payton, a family friend, “and that’s the main thing you want as any kind of medical provider: the best possible comfort.”

Cauthen, Payton and Deborah Chadbourne launched UPODS in 2013, and received U.S. patents for the Uni-flo2 in September 2016 and March 2018.

Company officials are now spreading the word on how a single vs. dual-pronged cannula increases comfort by optimizing oxygen absorption, enhancing user appearance and maximizing freedom of movement.

“Many patients don’t use their oxygen correctly,” said Cauthen, a BS RRT. “The doctor says to use it 24/7, but they take it off to sleep because it’s uncomfortable and they take it off to eat because it gets in their food and they take it off because they’re concerned about their appearance. So it also addresses compliance.”

The company’s main push: getting more physicians to prescribe the product and more HME providers to carry it.

“This is an option not only for home oxygen users but also CPAP users,” said Chadbourne, who also serves as the company’s corporate secretary and treasurer. “We’ve heard many times, ‘Why wouldn’t someone try this, if they’re suffering?’

Until Uni-flo2 increases its traction in the market, however, it’s unlikely to get picked up by distributors, which would be a big boost.

“We’ve approached some of them, but until there is sufficient volume established, they’re not interested in taking on something that might dilute dual-pronged cannulas, which are their bread and butter,” Chadbourne said. “They’ll eventually be interested.”