CPAP therapy, or continuous positive airway pressure therapy, is a means of helping individuals with sleep apnea to sleep better at night with the aid of a machine to keep the breathing airways open during the night.
As Class II medical devices, the CPAP machine needs a doctor’s prescription (containing pressure settings) to be able to get one. A user generally would have to find and visit a CPAP store that has an in-house sleep specialist that would help pick out a machine and configure the machine settings to them. Process involves going over the prescription, discussing mask types, sleep styles, pain points and good points in sleep, and insurance coverage. There is a variety of machines and peripherals (mask forms and fittings) available to pick from in order to customize the machine to the wearer as best as possible depending on a user’s prescription. Sometimes this means that the user can pick from a variety of options, or has limited choice as the doctor has a specific prescription or recommendation based on their medical condition.
I had bounced back and forth in my research of finding various wearable technology and contemplated a lot on the applicability of those devices to the classification and nuances of the NeuroLife sleeve, but I think I finally found a medical device that is comparable for how the sleeve’s business and system will work which is the CPAP machine.
As they are both prescribed devices, the analysis of how CPAP machines are prescribed, distributed, and maintained is useful as it more directly translates with aspects of the NeuroLife sleeve since they are both prescribed medical devices engaging in therapy.
Aspects such as the store front acting in as the distributor of the product in order to give customization with offerings of different peripherals and machine types is unique and is something that would be interesting to integrate into the NeuroLife sleeve form and system. The various conditions of stroke patients may call for different sleeve forms and use, and while the electrode count and placement of the sleeve is fixed for the future, there is a visionary opportunity in allowing the form to have more options for different frequency and intensity of home rehabilitation use.