Human Design Medical‘s Z1, which claims to be the smallest, lightest CPAP machine, hit the market Tuesday. It works with all CPAP masks. The target market? Sleep apnea patients on the go. Weighing in at only 10 ounces and palm-sized, it makes the industry standard look as clunky as a boombox with the advent of MP3 players. It is also quieter than the industry standard.
The Boston-based medical device company also sells a Power Shell that allows the device to be used with a battery–without plugging in. This allows for ultimate mobility–more while sleeping (no need to take the side of the bed by the outlet) and even for long flights–without a loud, plug-in device, it’s a possibility for sleep apnea patients who are jet set–or weekend camping trips. But that feature also adds safety: if there’s a power outage, the device automatically switches to its battery reserve.
The Z1’s Bluetooth technology also allows patients to view feedback on their breathing patterns. The device even uses an “algorithm that learns from your breathing pattern and relieves machine pressure on exhalation.”
According to the company website:
The Z1 is data-capable and records all information on events and compliance. With our free software*, data is presented in a user-friendly interface where you can track your progress.
“We think that if we can engage device users in a more meaningful way – and create products that they actually like to use – we can be an integral part of their lifestyle and improve their quality of life,” SVP of Sales and Marketing Steve Moore said in a press release.
That integration will be important. While CPAPs are the standard of care for sleep apnea patients, compliance is the biggest issue. (After 12 months using the CPAP device, compliance among American patients is about 26 percent, according to Frost & Sullivan.) This kind of innovative device takes away some of the edge of a medical appearance, plus the bothersome sound. It will be interesting to see results in the future on how this human-centered design impacts compliance. (Or if it’s the mask that’s the main deterrent.)