About the opportunity
The television show The Biggest Loser: Couples challenges and encourages overweight contestants to shed pounds and become healthier. The unscripted and life-altering reality series gathers contestants from across the country to face real-life temptations, while being provided with approved weight-loss skills and resources in an effort to help them transform their bodies, health -- and ultimately -- their lives. Contestants work out under the supervision of professional trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper. This season contestants join as 2-person teams of either friends or family members. The series has become a worldwide hit airing in over 90 countries and produced in 25 countries. For more information about the television show, visit www.nbc.com/The_Biggest_Loser.
Philips Respironics, along with customer United Sleep Medicine, provided equipment, testing, and continued treatment and monitoring to The Biggest Loser: Couples contestants.
September 17, 2008 Pam Minkley, John Seymour, and John Gray, along with United Sleep Medicine Center staff, arrive at Universal City, Hollywood. No, they aren’t trying out for the next reality television-show…they are the behind-the-scenes sleep experts during the seventh season – The Biggest Loser: Couples. The work begins on day one. The team sets to work and inventories diagnostic equipment to test all 22 contestants for sleep disordered breathing.
The plan: testing the contestant pairs in three double hotel rooms and set up a control room all at the Sheraton Universal Hotel. Six contestants will be tested a night. All will receive one full diagnostic night and one titration night if needed. Pam and John Seymour plan to run studies and titrate CPAP therapy. Pulmonary function studies (spirometry) are requested so John and Pam used the Biggest Loser's doctor’s equipment to test all the cast members.
September 18 Six beds of Alice 5 are up and running wirelessly in only 12 hours! The first batch of contestants is tested.
September 19 The first six studies have been completed. Results are trickling in. Four out of six are severe apnics and some are found to be asthmatic as well.
September 20 Two more rooms are added and 10 beds are up and running. In the “control room” there are 10 computer screens lining two walls of the room. Those who have already been diagnosed are practicing with the equipment on September 21. The remaining contestants coming in for baseline studies and the first titrations studies are planned.
Beyond diagnosis All 22 contestants have been tested and 16 came back with positive results – 14 need CPAP and two need BiPAP. Surprisingly, no one is on oxygen. The contestants learn about compliance and even wear the CPAP when they have just five minutes to lie down and rest.
By September 22 everyone has been tested, diagnosed and titrated. A monitoring process is put into place to assure efficacy and adherence to therapy. For those contestants who remain on the show, their SmartCards will be pulled weekly. Those who are eliminated will work with his/her local DME and sleep center to get set-up on EncoreAnywhere with a modem.
In addition to CPAP set up, Pam and John provided follow-up and onsite visits to help the cast members with their struggles as they first used CPAP therapy as well as when their masks need changed as they lose weight. The team continues in this role by phone and via SmartCards as cast members leave the ranch.
Tune into The Biggest Loser: Couples, Tuesdays 8/7c on NBC or visit www.nbc.com/The_Biggest_Loser.
Pam Minkley with contestants
Contestants with their REMstars.
Read Press Release http://global.respironics.com/News/bigloser.asp
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