WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. and COLUMBIA, S.C., April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- SleepMed, Inc., the largest private sleep diagnostics and therapy provider and Watermark Medical, the leading home sleep technology services company for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep breathing disorders, announce the merger of their companies. Operating under the SleepMed name, the united strengths of SleepMed and Watermark Medical combine to establish a business uniquely poised to address the sleep issues affecting millions of Americans and establish the first national high performing sleep health system. The merger of SleepMed and Watermark Medical is an important development for the future of the sleep industry and the delivery of sleep related services. Utilizing Watermark's leading edge technology enabled platform and Enterprise relationships and SleepMed's stellar team of sleep experts and hospital partners, the new SleepMed will address the issues associated with the diagnosis and treatment of the widespread sleeping disorders in the U.S. Through its combined current annual patient population of over 200,000 patients and its estimated 15,000 independent physician and hospital network partners, the new SleepMed will offer sleep services (i.e. patient engagement integration tools and patient "wellness" products) focused on improving quality sleep via an integrated health-systems company that delivers a continuum of sleep care. As sleep health is a part of a patient's overall health profile, the new SleepMed will embrace and support "Community Sleep Management." This encourages local expertise, diagnostic pathways and appropriate therapy coordinated by SleepMed. SleepMed University educational and clinical activities will advance sleep awareness to physicians, employers, other providers, and the general population throughout these healthcare "Sleep Communities." "Healthcare is changing rapidly and wellness-oriented technology drives efficiencies that will promote the cost-effective solutions that will be adopted and will lower healthcare costs in the coming years," said John Sculley, Chairman. "Sleep disorders continue to be grossly underdiagnosed. The new SleepMed organization will help Americans achieve optimized sleep treatment for life by facilitating care that is accessible, appropriate, and effective." It is estimated that approximately 40 million Americans suffer from sleep breathing disorders, and recent estimates show that one in five Americans sleep less than six hours per night. If sleep deprivation is ongoing and persistent, it can lead to an increased risk for serious, chronic health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. For example, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a life-threatening condition in which breathing stops and then restarts re-currently during sleep, affects approximately 20 million Americans, but is often undiagnosed and untreated. The sleep disorder management industry is estimated to be a $24 billion a year industry. "Bringing SleepMed and Watermark Medical together represents a dramatic shift in the sleep business and underscores the radical, disruptive change technology is bringing to healthcare today," said Sean Heyniger, CEO. "The new SleepMed will emphasize the delivery of patient-centered quality based sleep services through an integrated offering unmatched in the industry. The ability to integrate the use of technology to improve diagnostic outcomes coupled with the expertise to manage and track patient compliance to the appropriate treatment is the future of sleep medicine." Increasingly, large employer and insurance companies are recognizing the important role sleep plays in overall health, considering appropriate corporate sleep policies, and evaluating testing and treatment options that are both effective and economic. The sleep disorder management industry is expected to grow significantly as the relationship of patient sleep quality to overall health and wellness is further understood.