Treating obstructive sleep apnea can be described
as a journey. Throughout the process, the patient and caregivers take steps to
get the right therapy for their sleep apnea. That journey includes the mask, the device,
and a likely series of tweaks to both therapy and equipment as the sleep provider,
physician, and patient start to dial-in an arrangement that will an optimal outcome.
A big part of that therapy journey is focused on mask fit and ease of use.
Everyone involved in the patient’s care want to ensure an optimal fit and a mask
that is not hard to use, because they know that unencumbered, comfortable use
will result in compliance, and compliance will result in better outcomes.
To help patients make progress on their journey, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
Inc. recently released the F&P Eson 2, the second generation of its well-established
Eson nasal mask for treating OSA sufferers.
“It was designed to meet the needs of patients and healthcare providers, at every
important milestone in the CPAP therapy journey,” says Matt Caughey OSA mask
senior product manager for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Inc. “ For instance, at the
very beginning of the CPAP therapy journey, patients undergo a sleep test.
“Getting a good seal during titration is critical. F&P Eson 2’s unique RollFit seal is
designed to deliver an effective seal and lessen the likelihood of leaks, which can waste
time and increase patient dissatisfaction, he continues. “And, later in the journey, as
the patient begins to use the mask on an ongoing basis, it must be easy to use and
maintain, and be quiet and not drafty for both the patient and the bed partner.”
Similar to the development of the right treatment solution for an OSA patient,
Fisher & Paykel was on a bit of a journey itself. The first part of the process was to
make sure that product development was in-step with patient need.
“Our vision at Fisher & Paykel is to create OSA masks that patients want to use
and are able to use without assistance,” Caughey explains. “To that end our design
engineers have spent hours observing how patients interact with our masks. In
parallel, the business development team has spent time mapping out the journey
that OSA patients go through, including identifying their key pain points.
“What the engineers found was that many patients were really struggling with
basic mask interactions such as how to put the mask on and how to reassemble it
after it has been taken apart for cleaning,” he continues. “This observation aligned
with one of the pain points identified which was a patient reluctance to clean their
mask for fear of not being able to put the mask back together again.”
And that was a key moment to reflect for F&P. A mask that is complex enough
that patients are unclear on the process of donning and doffing it flies in the face of
a one-button, touch-screen world. Think of it: nearly every person carries a smart
phone in his or her pocket or purse, but despite how complex that device is, and
how many functions it can perform, the actions to operate it are beyond simple —
they come naturally, in fact. A nasal mask should do the same.
“We have come to expect intuitive technologies/ products; if they are easy to
use we become more confident with their application, and with confidence comes
acceptance and with acceptance, adherence,” Caughey says. “The design team asked
themselves ‘what more could they do that they had not already done (like the rollfit
seal and single frame that fits all seal sizes) to improve ease of use?’
“The answer began to emerge over time, and [the Eson 2] is what they landed
upon,” he continues. “The design team identified that building intuitiveness or
‘cues’ into the Eson 2, could make the mask so much easier to use.”
And from that point forward, ease of use was a top priority for Fisher & Paykel.
Every element of usability was scrutinized, right down to color choices.
“Designers have long known that color plays a major role in the success of
product orientation,” Caughey notes. “And marketers know that specific colors
tend to stir certain emotions in customers. So the design team arrived at the idea of
using color to guide the patient and help alleviate the frustrations of not knowing
how to assemble the mask: Cues as simple as connecting two colored circles
together; color cues we have called VisiBlue.”
Other new features with ease and comfort in mind include:
- RollFit Seal. The RollFit Seal aims to deliver a precise fit and effective seal by
automatically adjusting on the bridge of the nose.
- Intuitive Headgear. The Intuitive Headgear design provides fitting options for
patients, including the ability to stretch the mask directly over the head.
- Easy Frame. The Easy Frame, which fits all three seal sizes, now comes with a
narrower profile than its predecessor. Fisher & Paykel says this feature provides a
clearer line of sight for the patient while working in tandem with the RollFit seal
to support seal stability.
- Washable Diffuser. The diffuser, which reduces noise and draft for the patient
and the bed partner, is now washable and more durable than the original Fisher& Paykel Eson diffuser.
Eson 2 Nasal CPAP Mask
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Inc.