Zzz-WARE Compliace and Efficacy Software
By Andrew Senske, President CPAP-Supply.com
Last Updated 1/26/2011 11:31:00 PM


The new Zzz-PAP Auto CPAP machine is the smallest, lightest and most economical (as of 1/26/2011) automatic CPAP machine available. The flow generator itself is under $400 and it includes Zzz-WARE Compliance & Efficacy Software, a mini SD card and a USB cable. This article will show you what the included software and hardware can do you you.

First things first: the software doesn't install on 64-bit Windows operating systems, and isn't Mac compatible. On a 64-bit Windows system the installation will just hang and won't let you know what's going on. You'll have to do the CTRL-ALT-DEL routine to end the process if you don't believe me and you try to install on your 64-bit system. This is an example of an application failing to "fail gracefully". I hate software that hasn't been programmed to fail gracefully, and I'm sure you do, too. On a 64-bit system you'll end up with a partial installation. Specifically, an application called CutePDF will be installed along with a couple of drivers that you will probably want to remove. The moral of this paragraph, though, is don't try to install Zzz-WARE software on a 64-bit computer!

[UPDATE 2/3/11: the manufacturer of the Zzz-PAP Auto sent this link to a 32-bit emulator for Windows 7 64-bit systems, to point out that you can, indeed, install Zzz-WARE on a 64-bit version of Windows 7, as long as you're using the emulator. Thank you PMI.]

On a 32-bit Windows OS, the Zzz-WARE software installs without a problem. When you insert the software CD into your CD/DVD/BD drive you'll be prompted to run a file called Setup.bat. This is totally old school. It's reminds me of software from the early 90s. Ironically, the first setup process when you run the Setup.bat batch file is called OS_Detect. OS_Detect can detect a 32-bit OS, but it apparently can't detect a 64-bit OS, which makes the whole detection process pretty lame. What? Is it looking to make sure you're not running Windows 3.1?

Anyway, after the faulty OS detection, an application called CutePDF will be installed. As part of this installation process you'll be asked if you want to install the Ask.com toolbar and if you want Ask.com to be your default search provider and your homepage. Uncheck all three boxes before continuing unless you want to get sucked into the Ask.com camp. I found this to be an annoyance during setup, and I'm surprised the default settings during setup would install a web browser toolbar and change your browser homepage. The annoyance is worth the free PDF software, though. You'll also be asked if you want to install a PS2PDF converter which is required for CutePDF to work. Click Yes, and be sure you have an internet connection. You can get this same PDF software and converter at CutePDF.com. Check out their website if all of this is making you nervous. The end result of installing this PDF software is that it will allow you to change any file to a PDF document when you "print" the document. The CutePDF Writer will show up as a printer whenever you print. Just select it as the printer and you'll be prompted to save your file as a PDF. Pretty neat, really.

CutePDF Installed as a Printer. Nice!

After CutePDF and the converter are installed, the main software application setup program will start. You can keep all the default settings and cruise through this part of setup with no worries or questions. Once finished the Zzz-WARE software will be available in the Probasics folder in the Windows Start menu. The user manual is located in the same menu. While the user manual isn't necessary (you'll be able to figure the software out on your own) it does contain helpful, concise instructions for each aspect of the software.

The Zzz-PAP Auto CPAP machine will record detailed event data, and will record approximately 150 nights worth of summary data. This recording occurs even if the mini SD card isn't inserted into the machine. Data can be retrieved from the CPAP machine either by transferring to the mini SD card (by inserting the card into the back of the CPAP machine), or by connecting the CPAP machine to your computer with the included USB cable. For this article I'll assume you're like me and that you find that using the mini SD card and card adapter is more convenient than connecting the CPAP machine to the computer with the USB cable. If your computer doesn't have a SD card reader, though, the USB cable will prove quite useful to you.

After the CPAP machine has recorded data, and after you insert the mini SD card into the back of the CPAP machine, you'll notice the word CARD appears on the Zzz-PAP LCD screen. This means the card has been recognized and that data transfer has begun. After data is transferred from the CPAP machine to the SD card, the phrase OK CARD will appear on the LCD screen. This usually takes a minute or so, and the change from CARD to OK CARD always seems to correspond with a change from one minute to the next on the clock that's visible in the LCD screen. Once the LCD screen says OK CARD, you can pull out the mini SD card, insert it into the SD card adapter and stick the adapter into your computer's SD card reader slot.

And now you're ready to see how you've been sleeping.

When you fire up the Zzz-WARE application here's what you'll see:

Zzz-WARE Main Screen - Patient Profile
The Patient Profile Screen is Where You'll Start (Click to View Larger Picture)

The main screen is the Patient Profile tab. Along the bottom of the screen you'll see all the different tabs you can access: Patient Profile, Clinical Details, Patient Notes, Total Time, Compliance, Detail, Long Term. If you click on each right now, you won't see much, because you haven't yet downloaded data from the SD card.

To get data into Zzz-WARE software, click on the "Open Card File" button at the top of the window. Then navigate to your SD card and click down through the folders until you see a file with the .APE extension (I know, I know). Select the file and click "Open". In an instant all the information will be transferred into the software, ready for your perusal. On each of the patient information screens you can edit the information to include information like your name, weight, height, etc. Casual users probably won't take the time to do this, but people who are on a weight-loss program, for instance, may wish to keep track of details like this, even recording information like bed time and other notes that may help show patterns or progress over longer periods of time.

The real meat of the Zzz-WARE software lies within the last four tabs: Total Time, Compliance, Detail and Long Term. Here are screen shots of each tab showing two nights of usage. Incidentally, the prescribed pressure setting for this patient is 7 cm H2O.

Zzz-WARE - Total Time / Compliance
Total Time Tab Showing Simple Bar Graphs of Duration and Time Used (Note The Clock Was Set About 8 Hours Behind Showing a Start Time Around 2:30 PM!)

The Compliance tab shows almost the exact same info as the Total Time tab, but the first chart changes from "Total Time" to "Compliance Time". The difference here is that the "Compliance Time" is the time that the device is delivering airflow WHILE the patient is wearing the mask. I won't show a picture of this screen because it looks just like the previous screen. The compliance time and total time may be different, however, because you might take your mask off during the night, which reduces compliance time.

Zzz-WARE - Detail
Detail Page Shows Average Pressure, Event Flags and Leaks on Three Charts. The Tables Show the Same Thing in, Well, Tabular Format

The detail page is where you can get a really good snapshot of what happened during the time period in which you're interested. By default this screen shows the latest 72 hours of data. The screenshot above shows two nights of CPAP usage data on one screen. You can change the date range by clicking the "Set Range" button. When you mouse over the charts a vertical line extends across all three charts and follows your mouse, making it easy to line up pressure, events and leaks to look for correlations.

Zzz-WARE - Long Term
Long Term Data Shows Stats for Pressure, Compliance and Events. You Set the Analysis Period.

There are three buttons on the Long Term data page - Pressure, Compliance and Events. The graph on the left is the daily pressure graph, and the tables on the right consist of the analysis data. Again, you can set the time period you want to look at. The CPAP machine stores about 150 days worth of data, so you'll have a lot of good data at your disposal.

Many Zzz-PAP Auto CPAP machine users will want to print reports and/or save reports as .PDF files. Just select "Print" from the File menu (or click the "Print Reports" button at the top of the application window). By default, the Summary, Compliance Time, Long Term Trend, and Daily Detail reports are selected. Click OK in the "Print Report" dialog, select your time period and click OK again. Confirm your selection and then you can do one of two things: 1) actually print to paper, or 2) select CutePDF Writer as your printer and save the CPAP compliance reports as a PDF file. Go ahead and try it. Very easy.

Click here to see the PDF test file we created for this article.

You can do some other stuff with the Zzz-WARE CPAP software as well. You can set the clock and the device ID. Pretty amazing, isn't it?

Overall, I'm really impresed with the CPAP compliance software included with the Zzz-PAP Auto CPAP machine. It's super easy to use, shows pretty much everything a CPAP user wants to see, and it's included with the machine at no additional cost. Of course, the only main drawback is that it can't be installed on 64-bit Windows, but I think I can manage to get over it. After all, the system requirements are printed right on the CD.

Since checking out this software I've pretty much become the resident expert, so if you have any questions, feel free to give me a call or send an email. I'd be happy to help you!

[UPDATE 2/3/11: the manufacturer of the Zzz-PAP Auto sent this link to a 32-bit emulator for Windows 7 64-bit systems, to point out that you can, indeed, install Zzz-WARE on a 64-bit version of Windows 7, as long as you're using the emulator. Thank you PMI.]

Andrew Senske
President
www.cpap-supply.com

CPAP-Supply.com is a leading online retailer of CPAP equipment. Located in Spokane, WA CPAP-Supply.com has been serving thousands of customers around the world since 2001. Founded on a belief that patients are their own best primary care providers, CPAP-Supply.com understands the importance of educating patients and customers on both the effects of and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. For more information visit CPAP-Supply.com or call toll free 1-888-955-2727.