Joined: Feb 2012
Machine: PR System One REMstar Auto (DS560)
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: ResMed Mirage Swift II
CPAP Pressure: 12.5 - 18.5 cmH20 (auto range)
CPAP Software: SleepyHead
Other Comments: Have diabetes Type II
Location: Illinois, USA
RE: Why aren't more data-capable Auto-CPAP machines prescribed?
Gavino V. Wrote:(continued, sorry - but I think many people would like to know this)
But wait, there's more! I didn't need to use any ramp up button, because an Auto does the ramp up. It was quieter, being newer. It was SMALLER, being newer. I MYSELF could look at the data if I so chose. (Ok, I'm a techie, but still...)
I was also in weight loss mode, and as I lost weight, my apnea patterns changed - but the efficacy results did not, because the AutoBiPAP changed automatically with my needs. And we had easy access to the data to monitor that!
No trips to the hospital, no calling the "support" company, but a lot of control of my condition under the supervision and encouragement of my doctor!
EPILOGUE: So, after all that, as blood returned to my brain, as it were, I got to thinking... How would the support company make the adjustments on my old clunker unit? They said I'd have to "send it in" for the adjustment (but oh, not to worry, they'd supply a loaner in the interim, helpful were they!), and that suggested some magical instrumentation. But I thought, geez, that's a lot to go thru for a rather simple piece of equipment...
I decided to go online. I found the Apnea Board and, to my surprise, the technician's manual for the old clunker unit, which I did not own. Turns out it was easy to adjust - there was a HIDDEN BUTTON that, when pressed, enabled adjustment of everything! Yes, it was that simple! Had we had that manual, my MD could have worked with me to experiment with various levels of pressure, etc, without a sleep study. But, lacking that little, iddybiddy piece of information about the secret switch, we were dead in the water!
But as if that was not bad enough - turns out that same technicians manual explained that THE DATA WAS BEING RETAINED IN THE UNIT, AND THAT IT COULD BE DOWNLOADED INTO A COMPUTER!! That is, all the same data - and some softward, btw, that you could buy - could be put into a conventional PC and analyzed six ways from Sunday!
Did the "support company" tell me that? Did they inform me that a second (or third, or fourth, or...) sleep study was entirely unnecessary?
No, but they dutifully sent me hoses, straps and nose pillows (what I use, to great effect and comfort) every three months! And, of course, charged me a yearly fee for them...
I dumped that company. I've been using my AutoBiPAP with pleasure, actually looking forward to using it each night. I bring my little chip with me to the MD every six months (and things are going so well, it's now just yearly), and the results are great. I feel great! And I have a huge supply of hoses, straps, nose pillows - which I don't anticipate needing for decades. (Oh, and I could buy them online as well, for a fraction of what the "support" company was selling them to me for.)
Knowledge is power, as they say. I wish I had known, 5 years ago, that there were such things as AutoBiPAPs, that there was such a thing as Apnea Board, that there were units with chips for easy access to data, that AutoBiPAPs adjust automatically, obviating the need, in most cases, for further sleep studies, and that all the accessories I'd ever need were easily available on-line.
Shoot - I wish I had know just that my stupid old unit - for which I paid top dollar - was collecting data all the time and that could download that data to a computer and that there was software that would present the data in a useful was to my doctor.
No, instead I was shunted to a company whose interest was only gaming the insurance system and sucking me financially dry. With a complicit pulmonologist.
ALL PATIENTS SHOULD HAVE AUTO UNITS. ALL UNITS SHOULD HAVE CHIPS. ALL EQUIPMENT OWNERS SHOULD HAVE ALL MANUALS.
There are no medical or health reasons for this not being the case.