DeVilbiss Healthcare, Somerset, Pa, recently sponsored a randomized, double-blind, crossover clinical study to test the effectiveness of its SmartFlex Technology—an exhalation pressure relief solution aimed at improving patient comfort. The study found SmartFlex Technology to be as effective as standard Auto-PAP.

The study looked at 28 patients with a recent diagnosis of OSA. Patients were randomly assigned to Auto-PAP (with or without SmartFlex) for two weeks and were then switched for continued therapy for an additional two weeks. While all participants experienced treatment with and without SmartFlex, both participants and researchers were blinded to the assignment of SmartFlex.

The study found SmartFlex to be as effective as standard Auto-PAP therapy. In addition, respiratory events and oxygen saturation during sleep were normalized among the participants. The study also showed that treatment with SmartFlex offered a lower leak rate. As expected, both modalities resulted in improved daytime alertness; however, use of SmartFlex Technology was associated with improved daytime energy levels, ability to relax, and nocturnal sleep.

DeVilbiss SmartFlex Technology provides three pressure relief drops and six rounding settings to ease a patient’s inhale and exhale transitions. The SmartFlex transitions can be adjusted with the company’s Flow Rounding™ Technology to make the pressure drop and the corresponding increase feel more natural to the patient. SmartFlex Technology is currently available with the DeVilbiss IntelliPAP® AutoAdjust® and IntelliPAP Standard Plus PAP systems.

The results were presented at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS).