Finding the Right Fit
ResMed's AirFit 20 mask series aims to ensure that sleep patients find the kind of comfort that lets them rest easy.
- By David Kopf
- Jan 01, 2017
ResMed took a global
approach in designing the
AirFit 20 series of full-face
(below) and nasal (right) sleep
therapy masks, and discovered
in the process that every face
is truly unique. The mask was
designed to accommodate that
As any sleep therapy professional knows, when it comes to
therapy compliance, fit is a major factor. If a mask doesn’t fit right it either will not
form a proper seal, or will be so uncomfortable that the patient won’t use it. In either
scenario compliance is diminished and the patient’s therapy suffers as a result.
It was with this understanding that sleep equipment manufacturer ResMed set
out to revise its AirFit mask and nasal series to offer the kind of fit that will increase
therapy compliance, and thus positive patient outcomes. That started with thinking
about the users, says Jon Yerbury, vice president of Marketing in the Americas for
ResMed. The result is the new AirFit F20 full-face mask and AirFit F20 for Her, and
the AirFit N20 nasal mask, and AirFit N20 for Her.
“ResMed’s AirFit 20 series masks are designed around the fact that every face is
unique,” he explains. “That’s why each one features our new InfinitySeal cushion —
the most adaptive we’ve ever designed — to accommodate all facial types and sleep
positions for a secure seal and comfortable fit.
“Hard-to-fit masks affect sleep specialists and patients alike,” Yerbury continues.
“Testing shows the AirFit N20 fit an astonishing 99 percent of patients tested, and
the AirFit F20 fit 97 percent — regardless of facial structure, gender or age.”
Product Development Goes Global
To get to that point, ResMed undertook a literally global research and development
approach. In fact, going global wound up being one of the most important lessons
learned by the company’s development team.
“It was important to develop a mask that positively impacted key areas of mask
use: comfort, fit and ease of use,” Yerbury explains. “The most significant ‘teachable
moment’ that came from that focus was the importance of testing our masks on as
many face shapes and sizes as possible. We conducted testing around the world, in
cities across the United States, Asia, Europe and Australia. Along the way, we made
dozens of changes — particularly to the cushion, ensuring that it would better fit
the majority of patients.”
In addition that global research, the masks also combine new features as well as
features from ResMed’s other most popular masks.
For starters, the AirFit 20’s new InfinitySeal silicone cushion adapts to patients’
unique facial contours to increase comfort, improve fit and reduce leakage for
maximum treatment efficacy. The mask also incorporates specially designed loops
and varying thickness levels designed to help patients that move throughout the
night by ensuring that the mask seals at a range of pressures.
“The cushion works hand-in-hand with its flexible and sturdy frame, adapting
to different facial structures and fitting a wide range of patients,” Yerbury says. “The
frame is designed for additional comfort with built-in padding to help reduce red
marks and lines on the face.
“We’ve also introduced magnets to both the N20 and the F20, making it easier
to secure the mask’s headgear,” he continues. “A quick-release elbow on both
masks lets patients get up in the middle of the night without removing their entire
mask, and to resume treatment quickly. All of these innovations come together to
make two masks that are intended to fit a wide variety of patients more easily and
comfortably than ever.”
Good for Care, Good for Business
And ensuring that fit is ideal at the outset of the process, rather than later on
down the line is also important, Yerbury says. The mask was also designed with
that in mind, he says.
“Patients rate mask comfort as the number one reason that can help them stay on
therapy,” he explains. “Not only are the AirFit F20 and N20 our most comfortable
masks ever, they’re easier and faster for clinicians to fit on patients the first time,
helping more people with sleep apnea adhere to this life-changing therapy.
“The AirFit 20 series makes mask setup faster and more enjoyable for both
patients and providers,” Yerbury continues. “This can lead to an increase in setups,
better patient satisfaction and even better inventory management.”
Part of what makes that possible is that the mask has three cushion sizes that
accommodate a single frame, which means providers have less inventory to manage
and can easily exchange cushions out based on patient sizing. Sizing guides for
the AirFit F20 and AirFit N20 are available at bit.ly/f20sizing and bit.ly/n20sizing,
respectively, to help size patients.
Both the AirFit F20 and N20 are now available in the United States and Canada,
and are billable under A7034 for the AirFit N20, and A7030 for the AirFit F20.
AirFit F20, AirFit F20 for Her
AirFit N20, AirFit N20 for Her
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of HME Business.
David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.