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Philips Hopes to Improve Adherence to Sleep Apnea Therapy With One-of-a-Kind App

 Philips has launched the SleepMapper mobile app to help patients with obstructive sleep apnea to adhere to therapy.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or  CPAP therapy has long been regarded as the gold standard in treating obstructive sleep apnea that affects more than 18 million Americans.

But the success of the therapy is complicated by the fact that many patients, for a variety of reasons, simply don't adhere to it. 

Now, Philips Respironics is taking a stab at the adherence puzzle through the launch of mobile app called SleepMapper. The app works in conjunction with the Philips Respironics System One CPAP masks and devices. The app, available on Apple devices as well as mobile devices that use the Android operating system, enables a patient to review therapy feedback, set goals and access information, resources and tutorials about sleep apnea and Philips sleep apnea products.

"Non-adherence to therapy due to poor patient education and not understanding the disease management process have been inherent obstacles to CPAP success," said Mark Aloia,  senior director, global clinical research at Philips Healthcare in a news release. "SleepMapper provides patients with a clear path for learning to manage treatment of their OSA. It allows patients to take ownership and develop goals to strive toward, which is important because it fosters patient engagement and instills a level of accountability."

Philips also seems to believe the app can also be a benefit for providers who can tell patients to use it as a resource, making them more efficient.

"Innovations such as SleepMapper can help providers continue to offer quality care while making their role more efficient," said John Frank, senior vice president, general manager, Sleep and Respiratory Care, Philips Home Healthcare Solutions, in a news release.

The SleepMapper is an example of how device makers are building mobile apps to respond to the consumerization of healthcare and the digital health trends. It is also another tool in the toolbox of doctors in managing patients - indeed doctors like Eric Topol who have embraced digital health had admitted to prescribing a lot more apps than drugs.

That trend of mobile app development in the medical world is going to be discussed in detail at a conference hosted by the publisher of MD+DI - MD&M East, June 17 -20 - in Philadelphia.

Here is a video of how SleepMapper may help OSA patients:

-- By Arundhati Parmar, Senior Editor, MD+DI

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