Sleep Advocate, Manager Clinical Services & Education
When we set out to create the next generation CPAP, we started by doing something practically unheard-of in our industry; we listened. We sent our engineers and managers into the field, and listened to our HME providers, to clinicians, to CPAP users, and to the latest published findings on effective CPAP therapy. We received a chorus of recommendations; all voiced around two common refrains: give patients the best therapy available, and include features that help optimize business efficiencies.
Guided by these goals and the other valuable feedback we received from all corners of our industry, we developed the DeVilbiss IntelliPAP solution. It is not just about the product; it is about providing an intelligent solution to improving problems some patients may have with adherence to PAP therapy. Solving troubles for patients requires a more comprehensive approach than simply manufacturing a product to improve health.
CONCERNS ABOUT PAP NON-USAGE
Across the globe there are thousands of CPAP machines sitting in the bottom of patients’ closets that are never used because patients simply “cannot handle” using them. It goes far beyond the physical complaints we sometimes hear patients share in regard to wearing PAP. I have been a longtime proponent of treating the “whole patient” – physically and mentally. There is indeed a social stigma attached to wearing PAP for some patients, and we all have a responsibility to give them the tools they need to overcome these obstacles.
Even the best CPAP solution is worthless if patients do not use it. In fact, more than half of the patients who begin CPAP therapy fail to stick with it because they perceive it as uncomfortable or inconvenient within their lifestyle. DeVilbiss felt that it did not want to sell a product that would simply sit in closets after the sale, so we decided to bring to the table tools that helped solve problems with adherence. We suspected that one of the largest hurdles for patients was that they were not getting enough education regarding psychological and social issues that come along with PAP.
PATIENT EDUCATION IMPROVES ADHERENCE
Among other sources, while at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City in 2006, DeVilbiss sought feedback from clinical attendees on several topics. We wanted to see what clinicians thought were the most insurmountable problems that patients have adhering to PAP therapy. Our suspicions were validated. The majority of attendees surveyed felt that patient education regarding PAP therapy was the missing link needed to help patients persevere and continue using it.
Studies show that patient education is one of the keys to improving adherence. With IntelliPAP, a complete patient education program is provided. Each unit comes with an engaging-to-watch patient instruction DVD, which addresses many of the common questions and concerns, encountered by patients as they begin CPAP therapy.
PROBLEM-SOLVING DEFINES TRUE INNOVATION
True innovation has nothing to do with technology, and everything to do with problem-solving. By listening to the concerns of clinicians, patients and providers to address the challenges they face, DeVilbiss created a truly innovative solution – a reliable, cost-effective CPAP system designed to make life easier. IntelliPAP has the smallest footprint of the market-leading integrated CPAP systems, allowing plenty of room on the nightstand for a clock, lamp, books, etc. CPAP users and sleep partners appreciate its non-medical look and whisper-quiet operation, thanks to a blower that is barely audible for maximum peace and quiet. And since IntelliPAP requires just one power cord for both the flow generator and heater/humidifier, patients are not bothered with tangled cords. The IntelliPAP power cord is a full eight feet in length, which means it comes with an extra two feet of cord versus competitive products – an additional amount of freedom patients appreciate. And there is no bulky power brick on the power cord, which is great for travelers.
IntelliPAP features a single integrated heater/humidifier that docks into the bottom of the unit without requiring a separate hose or power cord. Its 400ml chamber is one of the largest on the market delivering 12 hours of continuous humidification. And specially-designed surface area and internal baffles allow the airflow to pick up moisture more efficiently. IntelliPAP’s humidifier reservoir docks into the bottom of the unit for easy removal and replacement, with no need to disconnect and reconnect hoses. Refilling the reservoir is also simple because there are no fill lines, no water levels to monitor, no chance of overfilling, and patients can just fill it to the top. Lastly, the IntelliPAP also features comfort delay, which allows patients to fall asleep at a lower and more comfortable pressure, reaching prescription pressure after a user-selectable delay time.
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