Sleep apnea is a common disorder which involves having one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may cause high blood pressure and heart attacks which can lead to death. CPAP treatment entails wearing a mask over the nose and/or mouth that is connected to a small machine that pumps air to keep airways open during sleep. The problem with current sleep apnea masks is improper fit, leakage and discomfort. With an estimated 10,000 people in Kingston using CPAP to treat their sleep apnea and millions across North America, making CPAP treatment more tolerable will have a huge impact on each of these individuals’ lives.
Our project is to develop an improved design for sleep apnea masks. Using 3D printed technology, the user's face is scanned in order to design a customized cushion for their CPAP mask. This added component is then attached to the mask’s surface to improve comfort and wearability.
Since we last pitched, we have been working with Dr. Helen Driver from the KGH sleep lab and are working with local Kingston vendors including VitalAire, MediGas, ProResp and Shoppers Home Health Care. We have interviewed over 15 patients in Kingston with sleep apnea with the goal of implementing their feedback, and we are continuing to search for further resources and contacts. Of the patients interviewed, we have secured 5 volunteers to test trial our product. We are on our third round of prototyping and have trialled two types of silicone. We are looking to further iterate on our masks and are seeking for more patients willing to test our design. To accomplish this, we hope to connect with experts in the Kingston area that would be willing to support our project. Currently, we have set up a meeting with Launch Lab, a local Kingston accelerator, to assist us in moving forward and we also hope to partner with the Queen’s Department of Medicine to organize clinical studies.
Funded by Kingston, ON (July 2017)