There is no doubt that the world continues to move forward at an incredible pace. As technologies advances so does the way that we take care of patients. So what does this mean for the average user of a PAP device? Is upgrading to new equipment worth it? What are the advantages and options?
The biggest advantage of the newer and slightly more expensive devices is the amount of data that they track. They are basically running miniature sleep studies on you every night and that information can be very valuable to a professional that knows what to do with it. If you have a machine that only tracks usage data then you are really missing out on knowing if your device is effectively working or not. This is especially true if your device is old and has never been adjusted, or your weight has changed significantly (think 10% or more) since the time of your sleep study. A machine that tracks performance can help you avoid an overnight trip to the sleep lab in the hands of the right professional.
The second major advantage is noise level. Patients who have used CPAP for years regularly rave about the low amount of noise coming from the new units. This leads to better patient comfort and makes your bed-partner happy as well. The other big benefit is most of these devices that are quieter are equipped with a mask fit mode to help you test your mask while awake at a higher pressure than you would normally use while awake. This is an outstanding feature that helps you know for certain that while laying in bed at night your mask is not creating a tempest in the bed with you.
Finally the reporting features on the newer devices has improved dramatically. They have started using modern standards that can be read at any lab that is keeping up with the times. The patient reporting features are better than ever as well and easier to understand. This gives you positive affirmation every morning so you know your therapy is effective. With the remote monitoring capabilities that are available as well, a provider can easily keep up with you and help you as problems are developing that you may be completely unaware of. After all, you are asleep and before patients are diagnosed they are largely unaware of how often their airway collapses at night.
As with all things the world is always being filled with interesting new technologies. There are others outside of PAP as well that are changing the face of sleep medicine like implantable devices and disposable PAPs. It is always interested to see what is around the corner, but if you need help today with getting some new technology in your bedroom to help you sleep, please contact us. We would love to help at the very least in your education. We want you to be confident in what you are purchasing.