Last week I was in West Hollywood, California, for a small event with Dr. Mehmet Oz and a company called ResMed. The two have teamed up to teach people about the importance of sleep health, sleep disorders and the latest technology—and how they’ve made travel easier for sleep apnea patients.
I was interested in going not only to meet Dr. Oz (his producers asked me to go on his show last year to do a travel safety segment but I had a scheduling conflict) but also to hear about what they had to say. I’m very familiar with sleep apnea as my dad has it. I know firsthand what a chore it is to travel with those bulky and heavy CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines so I was pleasantly surprised when they unveiled the AirMini—which is now the world’s smallest CPAP machine.
The AirMini weighs a mere 0.66 pounds (300 grams), measures just 5.4″ x 3.3″ x 2″ (13.6cm x 8.4cm x 5.2cm) and has an innovative, built-in humidification system so users don’t need to go hunting for distilled water. The device’s waterless HumidX™ humidifier captures a patient’s exhaled heat and moisture in the mask tube and redelivers it to them.
According to the company’s internal survey of 299 CPAP users, 65% of them said device size is the number one reason they don’t take their machines every time they travel. This is dangerous, as by not using their machines, sleep apnea sufferers expose “themselves to sleep apnea’s chronic effects: they stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night, unconsciously transitioning between moments of sleep suffocation and jolts of awakening to resume breathing. This may cause dangerous levels of daytime fatigue and raise the risk of developing other fatal conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart failure.”
There’s a phone app (iOS and Android) that lets patients change comfort settings and track their own nightly usage data.
FYI: They did a Facebook Live event for 29 minutes and I asked the second question which is at the 20 minute mark. I asked where you get it and how much it costs. I didn’t get an answer on how much it costs but they did say the AirMini will be available to U.S. CPAP users through their home medical equipment (HME) providers. ResMed started taking preorders from HMEs beginning on May 3, 2017 and AirMini will begin shipping by May 31. It will also be available at initial launch in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom, with other countries to follow.
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Re. JohnnyJet’s article, “The World’s Smallest CPAP Machine Is Ideal for Travelers,” I realize that the suggestion is to take the CPAP machine along to use at your destination. However, has JohnnyJet ever thought of using it on board the plane itself? I just returned on Friday from a trip to SE Asia involving three 787 Dreamliner long hauls, 17 hours and 10 minutes on UA1 from SFO to SIN, 7 hours and 10 minutes from SIN to NRT on NH802 and 10 hours and 35 minutes from NRT to DEN on UA142. With 110V power available in the seats and my ResMed CPAP in my carryon, I use it while flying and sleep SO much better — and safer! And, even though they’re strangers, it’s good for my seat mates as well since they don’t have to put up with my snoring.