In the future, those with sleep apnea will be able to breathe easier at night with the Airing micro-CPAP device

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There are many people out there that struggle with sleep apnea. For those of you who are not familiar with it, “Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is typically caused by a blockage of the airway when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses during sleep” thus causing the person to temporarily stop breathing. This condition may increase your risk for many adverse health effects like high blood pressure, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and weight gain according to WebMD. Many of those with sleep apnea have to use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine to help them breathe easier through the night and thus ideally, obtain a more restful night’s sleep. But holy cow, those machines are noisy and cumbersome! The Airing micro-CPAP device will provide you with an alternative to that burdensome machine.

This new device, which is currently in development, fits into your nostrils via soft silicone nose plugs and that’s it. There are no masks, tubes or cords and it measures just 2″ x 1.5″ x 1″. This tiny device also gets rid of the problem of having to constantly clean your CPAP mask because the Airing device is designed for single use and is recyclable. It uses micro-blowers, which were originally designed for use in heat dissipation for microchips in computers, to provide the appropriate air pressure. According to the Airing website,

The Airing device has been designed to generate the full range of treatment pressures up to and in excess of a treatment number of 20. This is possible because of the strength of the electrostatic force that drives the micro-blower plates, like bellows, open and closed, together and apart. Each micro-blower can push a small amount of air at significant pressure, and hundreds of micro-blowers work in parallel to achieve the required volume to effectively treat the particular patient’s sleep apnea.

Airing devices will be available initially in a range of pressure values so that you will be able to obtain the device with the treatment number prescribed for you, much like contact lenses. Eventually, we intend to make our devices adaptive so that they will self adjust (like some current high-end CPAP machines) to provide the exact pressure for effective treatment.

The Airing device uses a Zinc-air battery that provides eight hours of use for each unit. When researching whether or not to use a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery they found that,

The Zinc-air battery provides about ten times more stored energy in the same space as the same-sized Lithium-ion battery. In fact, a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that could last through the night would make the device too heavy for convenient and comfortable use, our primary concern.

The Airing will cost about $3.00 per device but if it is approved by the FDA as another type of CPAP therapy, then they are projecting that insurance companies will reimburse the users for much of the cost bringing the new estimate to just $0.60 per device.

Airing had a successful Indiegogo campaign to help fund their vision of the device in July 2015 and are currently continuing to develop it.

Our focus right now is to develop our original proof of concept prototype, test it, get it approved, and bring to the public. When we accomplish that, our goal is to improve our original model–and that includes the ability to reuse the device and store usage data.

If you are interested in more information, funding their development of the device, or keeping up with the news about the Airing micro-CPAP device, visit their website, blog, or their FAQ section.

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Paul Campbell March 11, 2016, 9:05 am

    I’m interested in this device – but how many years is it going to take for them to manufacture and sell it. I learned about it some time back but nothing seems to happen. Maybe I’m doing them a disservice, but it seems more like vaporware.

  • Alex March 11, 2016, 9:53 am

    I use a CPAP, and I don’t see how this could work. The air pressure that mine provides would blow it off my face if I didn’t have it strapped on. I use a PAPR at work, and the battery size to provide adequate air pressure for eight hours is the size and weight of a Venti coffee.

  • William Nicholls March 11, 2016, 11:55 am

    Think this product is a scam. So do folks with engineering and physics knowledge. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9884345

    • Paul Campbell March 11, 2016, 2:42 pm

      Thanks for the link. It does seem to be a impossibility for this device to exist.

  • Kathleen Chapman March 11, 2016, 5:49 pm

    @Paul Campbell, Alex, and William Nicholls – I completely understand your skepticism and if you are wary of the product, by all means do not support it. However, it’s interesting to me that someone seems to be looking into and potentially addressing the problem with the current CPAP therapy and someone someday WILL come up with something much better, whether it is the Airing device or not.

    Anyway, Alex and William, I posted your comments on Airing’s Facebook page and their response was the following:

    “we’ve seen many skeptics since launching our campaign and while we appreciate their efforts to estimate the feasibility of our technology, we have every confidence that our own calculations, designs, and engineering expertise will make Airing a reality. We are not a scam and are currently working very hard to assemble the prototype of our core technology. We aren’t able to publicly divulge all of Airing’s technical specs, but we’d love for you to follow our progress so we can show you that the Airing device is possible and an imminent reality. We are excited to bring a better CPAP option to life for our supporters and those who desperately need it. Thanks!”

    Then I asked when they might have a working prototype to which they responded:

    “Although it is still difficult to predict an exact date for the completion of the working prototype of our technology, we are estimating to be ready to begin the proof of concept testing of the core technology (micro-blowers) prototype in approximately a month or so. We will be sharing our progress along the way. Stay tuned!”

    I’ll admit that neither of these responses is reassuring. If you would like to ask any other questions here is the link to their Facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/airingCPAP/

  • Paul Campbell March 11, 2016, 7:53 pm

    If I didn’t have at least a working prototype I would not be asking people to fund it! It will be interesting to see if “a month or so” becomes much longer. Thanks Kathleen for asking the questions.

  • sharron ogomori March 13, 2016, 5:43 am

    I used a cpap for years until I lost weight which helped the apnea, but not the snoring. The device also left strap marks on the face which indented the face for hours after waking. I’d set one alarm 2 hours before I needed to wake to take off the device, just to walk into work looking normal. I hope this works. I’d love to give it a try to see if I sleep deeper and longer.

  • Steve April 5, 2016, 4:44 pm

    If this device could be made fully functional and marketable, it would revolutionize the lives of apnea sufferers. Imagine being able to go on a week-long camping trip in a rugged, remote area without having to lug along a CPAP machine and batteries (assuming you’d have the physical strength to carry all that extra weight in the first place!). Or being able to travel to foreign countries where electricity supplies are non-existent, scarce, or unreliable.
    Or being able to sleep on a long-haul flight without having to get clearance from the airline to bring your machine on board, or hope that the aircraft even has any AC power outlets.

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