In 1981 Professor Colin Sullivan and colleagues at the University of Sydney developed the first continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, the first successful, non-invasive treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). After publishing the successful results in Lancet, Sullivan, who had patented the technology, sought a compatible partner to help commercialise this life-changing technology.
In 1986 he approached Chris Lynch, Managing Director of the Baxter Centre for Medical Research and Vice President of R&D for Baxter Healthcare, who in turn reached out to his Baxter co-worker Dr. Peter Farrell.
In 1987 Farrell, on behalf of Baxter, invested in Sullivan’s technology to further evolve the CPAP prototype and undertake clinical trials on a group of patients with severe sleep apnea.
In 1989, after Baxter decided not to enter the sleep apnea market for a variety of reasons, Farrell founded ResMed (short for “Respiratory Medicine”) to buy Sullivan’s sleep technology from Baxter and to commercialise his prototype CPAP device to allow scalable device production – in other words, to bring CPAP to the world at large.
Since then, ResMed has delivered on Farrell’s promise: making CPAP masks, CPAP machines and in-home life support ventilators more comfortable, quieter and easier to use.
Today, we help people with sleep apnea, COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases breathe and live better.