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Philips Mask Selector: A 3D scanning system for data-driven PAP mask fittings

Philips Mask Selector: A 3D scanning system for data-driven PAP mask fittings

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Positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy for sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) comprises a blower device, tubing, and a mask that acts as the interface between the device and the patient. A variety of mask styles and sizes are available on the market; however, there is no standardized process for selecting an appropriate mask for a given patient.1 Poor mask fit can negatively affect a patient’s treatment experience and adherence, and can be burdensome to providers due to the requirement for phone calls and visits for troubleshooting and additional fittings.2-4 Further, masks that are trialed during an appointment but not selected for home-use often go to waste or require extensive cleaning prior to re-use, which is associated with additional expense.

Philips has developed a novel solution utilizing a three-dimensional (3D) facial scanner and associated software to assess facial anatomy characteristics, which aims to make the mask fitting process more efficient. The Mask Selector system (Philips; Pittsburgh, PA) consists of a computer or tablet, an after-market 3D camera, and proprietary software that combines facial images and responses to a six-item questionnaire to generate an ordered list of up to four Philips masks for an individual patient, along with the recommended size, which is then displayed to the clinician. The primary aim of this randomized controlled trial was to assess the impact of the system on mask selection for SDB patients who initiate first-time PAP treatment, hypothesizing that the Mask Selector arm would have a greater proportion of patients assigned only one mask over a 90-day period, compared to usual care consisting of traditional mask fittings.

In this randomized controlled trial, the use of a novel, automated mask fitting system resulted in fewer masks being used during the initial fitting process and over 90-days, compared to usual care, as well as significantly lower average mask leak. Participants who underwent the automated mask fitting process were 53% more likely to keep their first allocated mask, and they experienced 52% fewer mask refits than those who underwent a traditional mask fitting. Over 90 days, the masks selected by the automated system exhibited a 14% reduction in average leak compared to the masks selected by traditional fitting methods. Although adherence was similar between arms, participants in the Mask Selector arm expressed a significantly higher level of confidence in, and satisfaction with, the mask selection process compared with usual care.

Our data suggest that use of the Mask Selector system may result in improved durable medical equipment (DME) company and sleep clinic efficiency and reduced costs associated with the use of multiple masks per patient. The exact means in which masks are cleaned, disinfected and re-used after fittings is not known, although in a survey of sleep clinics conducted by Philips (unpublished), 60% reported disposing of masks after a single use, citing safety concerns and the labor-intensity of cleaning and record-keeping as the most common reasons for adopting a single-use model. We envision that this trend will continue to grow with the global COVID-19 pandemic, and that most clinics will adopt the practice of avoiding reusing masks for multiple patients. In addition, the Mask Selector system has the advantage of being a contact-less mask fitting method. The Philips Mask Selector 3D scanning system delivers an efficient, consistent mask fitting process that is personalized based on facial characteristics and sleeping preferences aligned with mask design.

1. Dibra MN, Berry RB, Wagner MH. Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Choosing the Best Interface. Sleep Med Clin. 2020; 15:219-225.

2. Bachour A, Vitikainen P, Maasilta P. Rates of initial acceptance of PAP masks and outcomes of mask switching. Sleep Breath. 2016; 20: 733-738.

3. Mortimore IL, Whittle AT, Douglas NJ. Comparison of nose and face mask CPAP therapy for sleep apnoea. Thorax. 1998; 53: 290-292.

4. Borel JC, Tamisier R, Dias-Domingos S, et al. Type of mask may impact on continuous positive airway pressure adherence in apneic patients. PLoS One. 2013; 8: e64382.

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