A simplified version for patient home use is coming soon.

By Lisa Spear

CPAP mask selection is not always easy. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many sleep labs are closed and patients are fearful of leaving their homes, mask selection can become even more challenging. The Philips Respironics Mask Selector, now available for sleep labs, durable medical equipment (DMEs) providers, and physicians throughout North America, aims to make interface selection faster and more attuned to each person’s needs.

All without touching the patient, the technology scans the head and face, using a camera system that is mounted on a tablet. After the patient answers a few questions about their sleeping preferences and habits, the software analyzes the person’s facial anatomy before recommending specific Philips masks for a precision fit.

“In these unique times, the solution allows for limited contact between patient and provider during the fitting process, as sizing takes place via advanced scanning and data analysis instead of by physical touch,” says Mark D’Angelo, business category leader in sleep apnea solutions at Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care.

While the Mask Selector is designed for in-office use, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Philips Respironics also plans to release a 2D self-scanning version to be used remotely from patients’ homes. “While our 3D scanning solution supports in-lab provider consultation for the most accurate experience, which is generally preferred, we know that our DME partners can’t always be with their patients during these challenging times,” says D’Angelo.

The 2D option requires no measurements, and recommended mask results are shared within moments to the patient and made available to the DME for review, validation, and fulfillment. The company has not announced the release date for the home-based technology, but states the system is coming to market soon during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2D web application will enable remote fittings using the same proprietary algorithm as the 3D Mask Selector.

“The technology aims to help providers become more efficient by reducing the burden and expense of a potentially lengthy mask-fitting process, while also improving patient compliance by delivering a more personalized mask and precise-fit cushion specific to the individual needs of the patient,” D’Angelo says.

Any tablet, desktop, or laptop device enabled with Windows 10 can be used with Philips Respironics Mask Selector. Providers can work with a Philips representative to learn more about the required specifications or to schedule a demo, says D’Angelo.

The system is designed to turn the mask selection process from something that is subjective to a more data-driven process, Kevin Coldren, director of global product management, OSA solutions, said at the product debut at the SLEEP 2019 show.

The mask selector generates realistic 3D face models in seconds with the incorporated Bellus3D Face Camera Pro technology.

Overall, the goal is to get the most precise mask fit to improve patient comfort and long-term adherence to therapy. Many patients need to be refitted for masks after their sleep tests, which can result in wasted resources as well as patient nonadherence.

“The idea is to optimize the experience the first time, so they don’t go home and have a mask that they don’t like,” David White, MD, chief medical officer at Philips, said at SLEEP 2019. “If you could give them something that spot-on fits the first time, the hope is that that will improve their use of the device.”

Lisa Spear is associate editor of Sleep Review.