The two principal components of the Aestis product solution are the air separation unit and the proprietary control system. The air separation unit is based on well established air separation technology. The Company-developed control system, utilizing proprietary technology and algorithms, simulates an exact physiological altitude while incorporating multiple safety features. The controller unit also has an easy-to-use patient interface, providing a reading of the current actual altitude and the ability to adjust the altitude setpoint in increments of 100 feet or 25 meters. The controller is equipped with dual oxygen sensors and a carbon dioxide sensor, and automatically calibrates the air flow to maintain safe levels. The control system measures additional elements of the patient environment, including barometric pressure, temperature and humidity and adjusts the hypoxic air flow as necessary to maintain the desired simulated altitude. The system automatically calibrates all sensors and systems on a periodic basis to ensure that the ThinAir™ system is functioning properly.
Overview of Medical Hypoxia
Hypoxia, or a reduction in the amount of oxygen reaching body tissues, is a physiological effect of the reduced oxygen levels found at higher altitudes. Hypoxia-associated weight loss has been studied for decades, and has been specifically addressed in detail in numerous scientific publications and studies. Moderate hypoxia produces predictable physiological changes, including an increase in metabolic rate (increase in calories expended) and a decrease in appetite (decrease in calories consumed). As a result, weight loss commonly results from exposure to hypoxic conditions. Although the precise mechanism of action of appetite reduction is unknown, studies (by Tschop and colleagues) suggest a role for energy intake and expenditure played by naturally-occurring hormones such as leptin and neuropeptide Y.
The ThinAir™ system will offer major benefits relative to competing obesity therapies, including pharmaceuticals, surgery and changes in diet and exercise. The positive attributes and relative advantages of the ThinAir™ system include: