"It wasn't long ago that Respironics pulled the plug on retail sales of its Encore Pro data management software. Many retail web sites were selling the Encore Pro sleep apnea software, and it became increasingly popular - not to mention expensive - as word spread that Respironics had discontinued sales to internet retailers. The software wasn't designed for end users. In fact, it was designed for clinicians - people keeping track of multiple patients. One problem for Respironics was that the software allows the user to program the machine settings, meaning that end users had another relatively easy way to change their own pressure settings. Of course, it's much simpler to change the CPAP machine settings using the CPAP machine itself, but the software opened up yet another method by which users could manipulate their prescribed settings. As a result, a few months ago internet retailers sold their last copies of Encore Pro, and end users were left without a way to view the data on their SmartCards.

That is, until Respironics released EncoreViewer 1.0, software specifically designed for CPAP users. The new software has the same basic reporting capabilities as Encore Pro, but that's all it has - reporting capability. EncoreViewer - as the name suggests - allows the user to view SmartCard data, without giving the CPAP user the ability to change any settings on the CPAP machine. In this article, I'll show you the new EncoreViewer 1.0 software, and explain all of the CPAP therapy data that it allows you to see.

What You Need
You're probably wondering what you need to view the data on your SmartCard, so I'll begin with that. Basically, all you need is a SmartCard with data on it (i.e. the card in your CPAP machine, the SmartCard Reader, the EncoreViewer Software, and a PC that meets the system requirements of the software. Yes, it's true. The Encore SmartCard and Encore SmartCard Reader are proprietary formats so that you can't use any card reader. You need the Respironics Encore SmartCard Reader.

Once you have all of the equipment you need, you'll need to install the EncoreViewer software and plug in your SmartCard reader. I mention this because I want to take the opportunity to point out that driver software may be included with your SmartCard reader (depending upon where you purchase it). This driver software is not compatible with EncoreViewer 1.0 and should not be installed. The EncoreViewer 1.0 software contains all the software necessary for your card reader to work. Because of this incompatibility, we will not ship the reader drivers to you unless you specifically request us to do so. The bottom line is that when you are ready to install, the only software you should install is EncoreViewer 1.0. If you have any problems with installation you can call Respironics for technical support.

Using EncoreViewer 1.0
Once you have the software installed and the card reader is recognized by your computer, you can start using it. To begin, simply run the software, and insert your SmartCard into the reader. The light on the front of the reader will switch from red to green, and then back to red again. The green light means the card reader is reading.

When you first launch EncoreViewer the Edit User screen will appear. Simply fill out the fields and select the type of SmartCard reader you're using - either USB or PCMCIA. Then click the Save button to go to the main screen and to start the data copying process.

EncoreViewer Edit User Screen

On the main screen, click the Copy SmartCard Data button to start the transfer of data from your Encore SmartCard (which should be in the reader at this point), to the software. A confirmation dialog box will appear, asking if you really want to copy CPAP therapy data to the selected user's file. You have the option of turning off this confirmation. Once you confirm the copy, the progress of the data transfer will be shown in green in the middle of the screen, and a message will appear once the transfer is finished. The date range of data will be shown also. After the data transfer you're ready to run your report and view your CPAP therapy data.

EncoreViewer Edit Main Screen

To run a report, simply select the date range in which you are interested. The calendar on the left represents the start date, and the calendar on the right represents the end date. Then click the View Report button.

Viewing A Report
Your report will be several pages. In my example I'm looking at four days of therapy, and the report is nine pages long. Here's a synopsis of each page.

Page 1 - Summary Compliance Data
The first page shows a summary of patient information, hours of usage, and pressure information for the chosen date range. Click on the sample page below to view a larger version.

Page 2 - Patterns of Use
The second page shows patterns of use in a graphical format. Days are listed down the left side and a green bar represents the amount of therapy time. The scale along the bottom of this graph represents the time in a 24 hour format (i.e. 22 = 10:00 PM). This screen makes it easy to see the level of consistency of your sleep patterns during therapy. Click on the sample page below to view a larger version.

Page 3 - Sleep Therapy Long Term Trend
The third page shows a lot of great trend information over the span of the date range you've chosen. From top to bottom you can view 1) your average pressure, 2) your non-responsive apnea/hypopnea index (AHI), 3) your obstructive apnea index, 4) your hypopnea index, 5) your flow limitation index, 6) your vibratory snore index, and 7) leak information. An index is simply a number of events per hour, so if you see an AHI of 6, it means you're experiencing 6 apnea and or hypopnea events per hour. Click on the sample page below to view a larger version.

Pages 4 through 7 - Daily Details
** Note: in my example there are 4 daily detail pages because I chose to look at 4 days of therapy.
The daily details pages show detailed therapy information for your entire CPAP therapy session. On the daily details pages you can see exactly what is going on - apneas, hypopneas, snoring, leaks, etc. - and at what time the events are occuring. All the data is summarized graphically as well as in a table of data. It is clear that your CPAP machine truly is a sophisticated device, not only capable of delivering optimal CPAP therapy, but also able to record and show what it's doing for you. Click on the sample page below to view a larger version.

Page 8 - Summary of Daily Events Per Hour, Auto CPAP Time at Pressure
** Note: in my example the CPAP compliance data is taken from an automatic CPAP machine.
The second-to-last page shows a summary of daily events per hour. With an automatic CPAP machine you can see that data is recorded and averaged for each event at each pressure setting that was used by the CPAP machine. The table also highlights the pressure at which the machine was operating 90% of the time. The graph below the table shows the percent of time at each pressure. In this example you can see that the pressure setting is at 4 cm H2O about 10% of the time, and it is at or below 10.5 cm H2O 90% of the time. Click on the sample page below to view a larger version.

Page 9 - Therapy Data Summary
The final page shows a summary of all data. Click on the sample page below to view a larger version.

Each page of the report can be printed. If you ever feel the need to show your doctor your compliance data, or if your doctor or insurance company specifically request compliance data, you can either send your Encore SmartCard, or you can simply print a report and mail it or fax it.

The only thing I don't like about this software is that you can't save a report to your computer, and you can't permanently record SmartCard data. Once your CPAP machine and/or SmartCard fill up with data, you start losing a day of data for each new day that is recorded. For example, if your CPAP machine and/or card fills up on day 180, then on day 181, you lose the data for day 1. On day 182, you lose the data for day 2, etc. The bottom line is that you can never see more than about six months of data. For the CPAP users that actually take the time to analyze their therapy information, that might be somewhat disappointing. For the rest of you, who could really not care any less about the details of your therapy - as long as you're getting a good night's rest - it's all just nonsense anyway!

Andrew Senske

CPAP-Supply.com is a leading online retailer of CPAP equipment / sleep apnea supplies. 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."

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