VitalStim Dysphagia Therapy
Management Transitions to Empi
Beginning on January 1, 2008, Empi assumed management responsibilities for the VitalStim portfolio of dysphagia therapy products from the Chattanooga Group. All sales, purchasing, distribution, customer service, product repair, regulatory compliance, IT and marketing activities for VitalStim will be coordinated out of Empi’s St. Paul, MN and Clear Lake, SD offices.
“VitalStim represents a fantastic opportunity for Empi to continue the excellent work begun by the Chattanooga Group with this portfolio. VitalStim reflects perfectly our mission of delivering positive patient outcomes via innovative products and services,” says Empi President Don Dumoulin. “The number of people in the US who could benefit from this therapy is significant and we’re happy to play a role in its ongoing success.”
Dysphagia, a difficulty in swallowing, affects an estimated 15 million Americans today. About 1 million new cases are diagnosed every year. Dysphagia commonly occurs following a stroke, radiation therapy for head and neck cancer, a traumatic injury to the head or spinal cord, and it is also common to people with diseases like MS or Parkinson’s. It profoundly affects quality of life for the patient and has significant costs to the health care system.
VitalStim therapy is a specialized form of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) that treats dysphagia through muscle re-education. The therapy is supplemental and shows best results when used in tandem with more conventional speech therapy and oral exercises. The VitalStim therapy technique is patented and is the only NMES device that has received a 510(K) clearance for use by the FDA for the treatment of dysphagia. Additionally, VitalStim has been the subject of numerous scientific investigations that have shown that the therapy brings positive results to dysphagia patients. Other NMES devices by Empi cannot be substituted for VitalStim therapy: VitalStim electrodes are uniquely configured to deliver the proper amount of current to the affected area; VitalStim can only be applied by clinicians completing a 2-day certification course.
Empi is a leading manufacturer and provider of non-invasive medical products for pain management and physical rehabilitation. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, Empi is committed to delivering positive patient outcomes and providing innovative products specifically designed to meet the needs of the patient, medical professional and payor. More information about Empi and its wide range of pain management products and services can be found on the company’s Web site, www.empi.com. For more information go to www.vitalstim.com.