ResMed was founded in 1989 by Dr. Peter Farrell to advance treatment of sleep apnea, a condition that was relatively unknown and unstudied. In 1981, a chest physician at the University of Sydney Medical School developed a device that treated sleep apnea by blowing air into a patient’s nose and mouth, preventing the airway from collapsing. This machine, which was made from a reverse vacuum cleaner pump, was the first continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The early machine was loud, uncomfortable and large, but Farrell saw its potential to treat sleep apnea. He formed the company, and acquired the intellectual property rights needed to make CPAP devices.