Published February 19, 2002
Volume 10, Number 2

Puritan Bennett to Expand Local R&D Effort with Transfers, New Hires
Puritan Bennett
Tom Yorkey with Puritan Bennett's three-pound portable oxygen container,
HELiOS, and its base unit.

In a move to centralize their research and development staff to their Hacienda headquarters, Puritan Bennett is relocating employees from two other locations and hiring dozens more. 

"We made a big decision over the last year to consolidate our R&D into this building," explains Tom Yorkey, Ph.D., Puritan Bennett's vice president of research and development. "We've already got about 50 people from the Nellcor division in R&D here so it just gives it more critical mass from sharing resources by bringing it all here."

The two divisions, both part of Tyco Healthcare, manufacture medical equipment that is used in hospitals and in homes. Puritan Bennett has two major product categories: ventilators and liquid oxygen systems. 

The ventilators include those used in critical care units that provide oxygen for patients who can't breathe on their own. They also manufacture a continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) device for people who suffer from sleep apnea, a condition which causes people to stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep. 

Their latest breakthrough, however, is a lightweight device for people who need supplemental oxygen to conduct normal physical activities. 

"You've probably seen people wheeling around gas cylinders," Yorkey describes. "Our product uses liquid oxygen, weighs only three pounds, and lasts for ten hours, which gets them out into the mall or going to see their grandkids. Customers are telling us that it's changed their lives."

The two-year-old product line, dubbed "HELiOS," has outpaced the company's initial sales estimates by 700 percent, with an additional four-fold increase anticipated in coming years. Puritan Bennett's R&D staff has received one patent on HELiOS already, with three more in process. 

With the research and development staff working together under one roof, there are sure to be more breakthroughs in the future.


Also in this issue ...