A RatDog concert doesn’t seem like the ideal place to develop a sleep apnea product, but that’s what keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and A.J. Santella, one of the band’s roadies, did.
Outliers: It came from the Dead
Reuters reports that Chimenti, who has played in post-Grateful Dead bands such as RatDog, the Dead and Furthur, and Santella developed the idea for sleep apnea patients to use a gel between a ventilation machine’s mask and their skin in 2007 after Chimenti’s mother suffered from abrasions caused by a mask.
The two, who were touring with RatDog at the time, eventually brought on two more partners and sold what is now called the Gecko nasal pad to ResMed, a San Diego-based manufacture of sleep-disorder treatment products, in 2010 for an undisclosed seven-figure sum.
“The number of doctor Deadheads we encountered and the number of people who helped us is extraordinary,” Billy Procida, one of the partners and a “lifelong Deadhead,” told Reuters.
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