Treatment of Sleep “App”nea
Erica Dehmel, BHSc, RRT – April 2016
It seems as though there’s an app for everything these days, and CPAP is no exception! CPAP therapy is a commitment: it takes time to adjust to the therapy, and while eventually you’ll notice an improvement in how you feel, it’s sometimes hard to stay motivated when you’re still feeling tired. Consistent use of CPAP for a full night will result in better outcomes, but sometimes you don’t really know how “well” you’re doing on the CPAP machine until you come in for follow up appointments and your clinician gives you guidance.
Most CPAP devices today are equipped with the ability to wirelessly transmit your CPAP data from your device to our database. That information is accessible to you through either a website, or an app that can be downloaded at no charge.
Two of the manufacturers we deal with here at the Snore Shop have devices that are “app” friendly:
- Respironics Dreamstation and Dreammapper
- Data transmission is available through a wireless modem (data transmits via cell towers), a Wifi modem (which you can link into your own Wifi at home), or data can be uploaded through Bluetooth pairing with your mobile device.
- The corresponding app and website is called “Dreammapper” (philips.com/mydreammapper)
- ResMed Airsense 10
- Data transmission occurs automatically through a built in cellular modem that transmits data through cell towers
- The corresponding app and website is called My Air (https://myair.resmed.com)
(Photo Source: http://www.resmed.com/us/en/consumer/products/devices.html)
(Photo source: https://myair.resmed.com/)
So what’s the benefit of using an app for your CPAP therapy? The most important one is instant feedback on how you’re actually doing with your therapy, especially in the early stages of getting used to the device. While you may “think” you slept about 6 hours with your CPAP on, when you look at your data the next day and realize you only had your CPAP running for about 4 hours, you know you need to make the effort to improve on your time. When you start seeing your usage increase, it’s good motivation to keep going.
These apps are also useful for detecting issues with the quality of your therapy, particularly with you CPAP mask. If you start to see your mask leakage increase, it may be an indication that you need to make some adjustments to the mask, or it may be time to replace your equipment if it’s getting old.
If you are already on CPAP and don’t have the “newest” equipment, many of the older model devices containing an SD card can be manually uploaded into software on your computer obtained through the same websites used by the newer devices. Ask your clinician for more details.
The bottom line with CPAP apps is that they’re meant to motivate you to take charge of your therapy, stay consistent with your usage, and in turn improve your quality of sleep, and ultimately your quality of life!