SOURCE: Astro-Med, Inc.

March 17, 2008 09:30 ET

Astro-Med Introduces Home Sleep Screener as Medicare Issues New Guidelines for Home Sleep Study Reimbursement

WEST WARWICK, RI--(Marketwire - March 17, 2008) - Astro-Med, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALOT) announced today the availability of a new lightweight sleep screener for use in home sleep studies, to be sold under its Grass Technologies brand. The unit, called SleepTrek®3, was developed over a period of years in anticipation of approval for reimbursement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Washington, D.C. On March 14, 2008, CMS announced its decision to provide for Medicare reimbursement of home sleep studies using devices such as Astro-Med's SleepTrek3.

"SleepTrek3 will make the benefit of sleep study available to many people who would otherwise not have been studied because they would not have met the high criteria to receive a doctor's order for a full-study in a sleep lab," said Everett Pizzuti, President and COO of Astro-Med, Inc. "This is a convenient and less costly way of identifying people who might have a sleep problem. It is estimated that around 30 million Americans may have some sort of sleep disorder, and many more of them will now receive screenings with SleepTrek 3."

Until the present time, most sleep studies were conducted in sleep laboratories because Medicare and Medicaid would only compensate medical professionals for studies performed in laboratories. It is widely believed that this effectively reduced the number of patients who received screening for sleep disorders.

"We are excited about the new growth potential in the Sleep market as a result of the Medicare approval and the introduction of SleepTrek3. We expect this will benefit not only existing hospitals and sleep labs, but because of the low price of SleepTrek3, we expect to see the market expand to other physicians," said Pizzuti.

With the availability of SleepTrek3, doctors will now be able to order sleep screenings for patients who are considered likely to have sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, giving them the portable SleepTrek3 to set up and use themselves, in their homes. For those patients whose SleepTrek3 screening results suggest the possibility of a disorder, a more extensive sleep study would be conducted in a laboratory setting.

SleepTrek3 is a lightweight, portable, six-channel "type III" sleep monitor designed to screen patients suspected of having sleep disorders. It records the home patient's airflow, snoring, blood oxygen saturation, pulse rate, body position, and effort, all known indicators of sleep disorder.

A patient will set up the SleepTrek3 him or herself at home and simply go to sleep. SleepTrek3 will record data from the patient's at-home sleep for up to 12 hours. The next day, a certified sleep laboratory will review the data from the patient's home sleep study and print a comprehensive report and analysis using associated Grass Technologies software. Each SleepTrek3 is supplied with sensors, a pouch that allows patients to wear it comfortably, a rechargeable battery, and software for data review and report generation.

SleepTrek3 home sleep screener is the latest in the Grass Technologies family of sleep diagnostic products, which include full in-lab sleep screening systems, wireless sleep screeners, and type II sleep screeners. The Grass brand has developed PSG, EEG, and other neurophysiological monitoring systems since 1935, manufacturing and directly selling and supporting systems for use by hospitals and labs.

About Astro-Med, Inc.

Astro-Med, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALOT) is a leading manufacturer of high tech specialty printing systems, electronic medical instrumentation, and test and measurement instruments sold under the brand names Astro-Med®, Grass® Technologies and QuickLabel® Systems. Astro-Med, Inc. products are employed around the world in a wide range of industrial, scientific, test and measurement applications, for product identification applications in consumer and industrial markets, and for clinical and research purposes in the field of life sciences. More information is available at

Safe Harbor Statement

This news release contains forward-looking statements, and actual results may vary from those expressed or implied herein. Factors that could affect these results include those mentioned in Astro-Med's FY2007 annual report and its annual and quarterly filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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