CPAP Machine Data Recording
By Andrew Senske, President CPAP-Supply.com
Last Updated 2/23/2011 2:13:00 PM
There are a lot of different CPAP machine models available to consumers - so many, in fact, that it can be terribly confusing for CPAP users to select just the right one - and we're often asked to make CPAP machine model recommendations for our customers. Often the CPAP machine conversation takes a turn toward a discussion of the data recording capabilities (or lack thereof) of various CPAP machines. Some people want data recording, some people need data recording, and some people just want a good night's sleep. Whichever camp you find yourself in, this article will explain the different levels of data recording available on our current selection of CPAP machines.
Basic CPAP Machines without Data Cards
Standard or basic CPAP machines record basic compliance information like blower hours, therapy hours, and the number of therapy sessions greater than four hours. This data is generally accessible only through the LCD screen on the CPAP device itself, and no additional software or hardware is required to see it. Also, this data generally isn't "downloadable" to software. The REMstar M Series and the Zzz-PAP CPAP machines are excellent examples of basic units. You can expect to find features like ramp pressure and manual altitude adjustment on CPAP machines like these. You won't find much more than that, though.
Current machines in this category:REMstar M Series
Obsolete (but popular) machines in this category:Puritan Bennett 420G
Relatively Basic CPAP Machines with Data Cards
The next step up from the basic CPAP machines, are the, well... relatively basic CPAP machines. Good examples in this category are the System One REMstar and the System One REMstar Plus. In this category of machines a data card is included with the CPAP device. The data card is used to copy data recorded by the CPAP machine for use with analysis software designed by the CPAP machine manufacturer. Older machine models generally used proprietary data cards, but all newer machines use a standard SD (secure digital) data card, just like the data card used in most digital cameras.
Along with the inclusion of data cards, some models in this category will also have some more advanced features. For example, the System One REMstar Plus features C-Flex, Philips Respironics' exhalation pressure relief technology. The basic System One REMstar doesn't offer this C-Flex feature, and would be categorized as a "basic" CPAP machine outlined above if it weren't for the inclusion of the SD card.
Some models support the use of data cards as an option. The IntelliPAP Standard Plus records basic compliance information, and with the optional SmartLink therapy management system the IntelliPAP Standard Plus ends up in this category. Without SmartLink the IntelliPAP Standard Plus would be considered a member of the previous "basic" category, except that the IntelliPAP does have a feature called SmartCode built-in. SmartCode generates codes on the LCD screen that can be used to obtain 1-day, 7-day, 15-day and 30-day compliance reports at the IntelliPAP.com website. So, even without the optional SmartLink therapy management system, the IntelliPAP offers data recording as well as the ability to transfer the recorded data to software (a website) for generating printed reports.
Current machines in this category:System One REMstar
System One REMstar Plus
IntelliPAP Standard Plus (same as IntelliPAP Standard, but with SmartFlex exhalation pressure relief feature)
IntelliPAP BiLevel S
Obsolete (but popular) machines in this category:Everest 3
REMstar Plus M Series
Advanced and Automatic CPAP Machines with Data Cards
This category of machines includes any machine that records flow limitation events like apneas, hypopneas and snoring. Every automatic machine we sell, as well as the System One REMstar Pro, fall into this category. Just like with the IntelliPAP Standard, though, the IntelliPAP AutoAdjust doesn't include a data card out-of-the-box. To get the detailed flow limitation data recording capability with the IntelliPAP AutoAdjust, you'll need the optional SmartLink kit. The IntelliPAP AutoAdjust also features SmartCode built-in, just like the IntelliPAP Standard.
Through the use of an on-board flow sensor, these advanced and automatic CPAP machines detect disturbances in airflow and record these detections for later analysis. Automatic machines will respond to these flow limitation events by adjusting the CPAP machine pressure, giving the CPAP user optimal therapy throughout the night. The System One REMstar Pro, though, just detects and records the flow limitations but does not adjust the machine pressure. For most practical purposes, the System One REMstar Pro, then, is a fairly basic unit, delivering a constant inhalation pressure all night long. However, it does have advanced features besides the data recording capabilities, including C-Flex, automatic altitude adjustment, and leak compensation.
Software analysis of the data will show when each type of flow limitation event occurred, and in the case of automatic machines, the software will show what the machine did in response to the flow limitation events. Automatic machines with their recording capabilities are often used in sleep studies.
The Zzz-PAP Auto offers both an SD card as well as a USB cable for data transfer.
Current machines in this category:Zzz-PAP Auto
System One REMstar Auto
System One REMstar Pro
Obsolete (but popular) machines in this category:Any automatic machine built within the last few years but that's not available now
BiPAP Pro II
We know the wide selection of CPAP machines, and the somewhat incidental differences between CPAP machine models, can be overwhelming to consumers trying to make a purchasing decision. That's why we're here to help. Feel free to give us a call, start a live chat on our website, or email us through our contact page if you need any help selecting a CPAP machine that's perfect for you.
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.