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Carle Medical Supply brings technology to help patients breathe easier from the comfort of home

Carle Medical Supply brings technology to help patients breathe easier from the comfort of home
When the field of healthcare faces new challenges, finding new methods of convenience and accessibility for patients is vital to ensuring they receive the care they need. This is also true when supporting patients in using needed medical equipment.

Carle Medical Supply [CMS] provides a range of medical equipment and services to patients. One such medical device they supply are continuous positive airway pressure [CPAP] machines. Patients may need support during the set-up process of their CPAP but cannot visit a CMS location in-person. A new program aims to support patients through the set-up process, connecting them to the CMS team online.

"This program bridges the gap between patients and healthcare providers,” said Sophia Messenger, Respiratory Supervisor, Carle Medical Supply. “Virtual support enhances accessibility, promotes patient empowerment and confidence in managing their CPAP therapy.”

The idea for a virtual program came about during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kevin Hunt, Director of Carle Medical Supply, and his fellow leaders used that experience to plan a remote support system. This provides accessibility to those who face challenges attending in-person appointments to due to transportation limitations, health concerns, or other barriers.

“By offering virtual appointments, patients can receive the support necessary from the comfort of their own homes, eliminating the need for travel,” said Messenger. “We can tailor the support to alleviate uncertainties or concerns our patients may be experiencing.”

The program began in October of 2023 with a few patients participating. Due to the success of these virtual visits, the program is now offered to all patients as of January 2024.

To take part in the program, a patient will need a referral from their physician to get a CPAP machine. Once the CMS team receives the referral, they schedule the virtual appointment with the patient.

One participant, Joshua Haywood, received his CPAP machine and virtual appointment at the end of 2023.

“The process was really easy,” said Haywood. “I had some concerns if I would get the right mask, but they did a lot to reassure me on the call. The program had a high rate of accuracy with facial scans. They got me the mask I thought I would need, and it was perfectly aligned.”

Upon contact with a patient, the CMS team ensures a virtual set-up appointment is possible. This includes checking internet connection, available smart devices, and ease with following virtual directions.

“Our respiratory therapists can remotely access the CPAP machines through wireless connectivity,” said Messenger. “This allows us to retrieve patient data from the device and manage or change setting as needed.” The team conducts a thorough inspection of the device and supplies before a patient receives the machine. “We take the extra step of personally handling the CPAP shipping process in-house, including any supplies that are selected or needed,” said Messenger.

“Because I work as a manager, I have a busy schedule with a lot of sporadic meetings and tests,” said Haywood. “A remote appointment was a much easier fit and made scheduling a lot better.” Since his initial virtual appointment, his medical device has worked well.

As of now, CPAP machines are unique in having wireless connectivity and data accessibility. But this program may serve as a model for future virtual medical technology programs as healthcare advances.

“My advice is that this program is definitely worth a try and the process is super easy,” said Haywood. “I know there’s concerns with virtual visits that information might be missed, or it will be difficult, but it’s very accurate every step of the way. And you can reach out if you need more help. It’s a seamless process and worth the try.”

Patients can contact the Carle Medical Supply team for CPAP appointments at 217-383-3487 and selecting the respiratory menu option.

For more information, visit

Categories: Redefining Healthcare

Tags: Carle, COVID-19, CPAP, Machine, Medical, Patient, Remote, Supply, Technology, Virtual, Visit