Leadership Perspectives

Precise and easy mask fitting

with 3D scanning techology

How 3D scanning technology can help ensure that the mask always fits for CPAP therapy patients and business customers

Sleep apnea masks haven’t always been the most natural things in the world to wear. In the past, these devices have often been clunky and uncomfortable, making it difficult for patients to get the most out of their sleep therapy and continue with their program over the long term. 

 

However, we are beginning to see the end of the era of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ mask – and this promises to transform the way continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) patients experience care. A more personalized future has arrived, one that views patients as people and makes their comfort and experience the priority.

Having the right mask that fits property is essential to patients - it ensures that he or she can start therapy off on the right foot. Mask issues are often cited as causes for poor compliance to CPAP therapy1 and the duration and frequency of CPAP use during the first month of treatment can help to suggest adherence rates within the following months.2

 

A mask is more than just an interface between the patient and their device: it has the potential to engage and motivate them on their journey to a healthy lifestyle. A more precise and personalized fitting experience can contribute to boosting a patient's confidence that he or she is in the right mask and that this is a solution that will work for them.

Patient-first products

These 3D scanning innovations enable medical device designers with data and technology they need to create products tailored to patient needs, giving patients more choices to be comfortable while adhering to therapy.

There are significant variations in facial structures and features between patients, which must be considered to ensure an accurate fit.  For example, the size and shape of facial features such as the nose, jaw, and chin can all affect the fit of a mask. Different sizes are needed to offer the best fit for different patient populations around the world. 
Beyond facial features, patient circumstances and preferences can also inform the type and shape of mask and encourage adherence. Common areas of investigation include patient PAP experience, mouth breathing patterns, facial muscular diseases and other clinical conditions the patient may have, as well as psychological factors such as tendencies towards claustrophobia and social/cultural environment.
The 3D scanning technology can then link patient data to algorithms that could recommend cushions, in a range of sizes, for a more precise seal based on variations in facial topography. With these standardized processes, mask selection and fitting will be less subjective - clinician bias can be a factor in inaccuracies, for example - and more data-driven.

Connect. Scan. Fit.

Connect. Scan. Fit.

Mask selector icon

The future is in three dimensions

 

3D scanning innovations are being introduced into the mask-fitting process and supporting this drive towards greater patient comfort and satisfaction. The technology, which allows for more sophisticated facial contour mapping, means that medical device designers can better understand how their products interact with people’s faces and account for differences in facial structure as a result of gender, ethnicity and other factors.

 

The technology will benefit sleep technicians and therapists who regularly fit masks on patients for CPAP therapy. Using a scan of the patient's face alongside their responses to a questionnaire, the technology has the potential to recommend a mask type, mask size and cushion size that are personalized to the patient's individual needs.

The customer case

These innovations aren’t just for patients – sleep labs, durable medical equipment (DME) customers and practitioners will also benefit.

Sleep labs

Sleep labs are facing increased scrutiny of how they clean masks and how they track masks through reprocessing. In fact, a recent Philips survey of sleep labs found that 57%3 are no longer reprocessing masks. By making the mask selection and sizing processes more precise, labs could be able to use fewer masks in their practice and provide the patient with a better experience.  

DME customers

For DME customers, mask refits or swaps can be a big problem. Fitting a patient on a second or third mask is time consuming and resource intensive, and ultimately makes the DME less efficient. At the 2018 SLEEP show, physicians at the University of Pennsylvania presented a poster that showed a refit rate of 27%4 at their location. This is consistent with many DME owners. The 3D scanning technology could help reduce this refit rate and help make DME customers more efficient.

Physicians

Physicians can gain greater assurance that a standardized and repeatable procedure was used with the patients under their care. Today there's a wide variation in terms of how patients are set up for CPAP therapy and how masks are selected and fitted. The processes can vary from location to location, therapist to therapist and tech to tech. Mask selection can be biased and based on personal preference of the mask fitter, while sizing is still often done by "eyeballing" the patient. The 3D scanning technologies can help bring consistency, confidence and precision to those processes with an efficient, data-driven solution.  

Say goodnight to refits with data-driven mask selection and fitting​

Learn more about our clinical validation behind our technology and software. Download our clinical infographic now.

Coming Soon: Our self-scanning solution to fit and size patients remotely​

 

Philips is committed to supporting our partners, delivering innovation that allows you to care for your patients and fueling your business even during these unprecedented times. We know you can't always be with your patients during these times. So, we are developing remote scanning solutions to support patient care.

If you are interested in learning more about these new technologies or want to  schedule a demo, please complete the form and a Philips representative will reach out to you.
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Footnotes

 

1 Orphaned patients & worried-well consumer study​

2 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Pressure Adherence Criteria

3 External marketing survey 2019, n=95​

4 Mastromatto N, Killough K, Keenan BT, et al. The effects of changing the first CPAP mask on compliance. Sleep 41(suppl_1):A399-A400. DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsy061.1074.