Company Launches to Help Truckers Stay Awake

A sleep doctor and respiratory doctor are teaming up to form a new company that will develop technologies for diagnosing and treating sleep apnea and other sleep-related disorders. Called Safety Sleep Systems (SSSI), the new company will be based on Tulsa, OK, and run by CEO Bruce Keltner. Keltner is the former CEO of Oklahoma Rehab Services, a company which treats patients with pulmonary lung disorders that was founded by one of the SSSI founders, Bobby Daniel, DO. The other founder of SSSI is a polysomnologist, James Duke, MD.

Sleep apnea, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association, affects about 12 million Americans. Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form, is caused by a blockage of the airway, often when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. Those affected stop breathing repeatedly during the night, causing them to wake up multiple times.

SSSI’s initial target audience will be truck drivers, a group that the company says is especially affected by sleep apnea — without solid nights sleep, truckers are at greater risk for accidents — and often struggles to pay for current treatment options. SSSI stresses that its products will be affordable.

“Because drivers are frequently not properly diagnosed, or find traditional treatments too costly and inconvenient, their sleep apnea frequently goes untreated,” said co-founder Duke in a company press release. “The development of new cost-effective medical protocols, combined with efficient new technology, is key to making significant inroads to treatment and improving driver safety.”

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