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.