Airing's Potentially Breakthrough Technology
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is typically caused by a blockage of the airway when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses during sleep. The standard treatment for OSA is what is known as “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure,” or CPAP. CPAP machines can mitigate this problem, but their poor design causes sleep apnea sufferers to give up on it: 80% of CPAP users stop using it within one year. Airing hopes to change that with a revolutionary design that will provide the same result without the need for the cumbersome and uncomfortable masks that force so many sufferers to abandon necessary treatment.
Traditional CPAP Machines Are Not Well-Tolerated
- The traditional CPAP devices have snug-fitting masks and movement-restrictive hoses and cords.
- The traditional equipment needs to be cleaned constantly to prevent infection.
- The traditional equipment has a noisy hum and a sound of rushing air if the seal is broken, which can wake the patient (and their partner).
Of sleep apnea patients stop using the CPAP machine within one year
Potential first-year cost without insurance
The Revolutionary Approach: A Compact, Maskless Micro-CPAP Device
- Self-contained micro-blowers and a safe, ultra-light zinc-air battery eliminate external air hoses, power wires, uncomfortable straps, and the noisy hum.
- Comfortable silicone nose buds fit snugly in your nostrils and stay in all night.
- Single use device requires no daily cleaning and ongoing maintenance.
Projected cost per Airing device (without reimbursement)
Projected battery life
Multi-Billion Dollar Market and Growing
Sleep apnea therapy products are a multi-billion dollar market that is likely to continue to expand in light of several factors, including improved diagnostic capabilities, growing awareness of the condition and the risks of not getting treatment, and an aging and overweight population.
People who suffer from sleep apnea
Sufferers who remain undiagnosed
People who abandon treatment (non-compliant) within a year
Multiple Innovations in One Device
Patents have been filed for the micro-CPAP device itself as well as the individual components, including the nose buds, the micro-blowers, and the micro-pressure sensors. We believe the Airing device will be the first of its kind in the market and has life-changing potential.
Accelerating Technology Development
We’ve raised over $4 million (including almost $2M from Indiegogo) but need additional resources to complete the development of the working prototype that can be tested for efficacy on a select number of sleep apnea patients.
Our Progress So Far
Airing is Formed
Stephen Marsh founds Airing.
Campaign Launched on Indiegogo
Airing’s campaign raises $280K in donations on first day. Surpasses $1.0M in first month.
Build and test a working prototype of the micro-blowers
Test working prototype of device for efficacy
*Estimated. Actual timing depends on rate and success of development of very complex and innovative technologies.
Let's Free Millions of Sleep Apnea Patients Together
I first learned about sleep apnea during a phone call from my brother, David. He explained that he had been listening to talk radio on his way home from work and heard a segment about sleep apnea, a disorder characterized by repeated disruptions in breathing during sleep. The radio show described the various symptoms, which he identified with across the board. Loud, disruptive snoring? Check. Morning headaches? Check. Drowsiness, impaired concentration, and irritability during the day? Check, check, and check.
After a week or two, I received a photo of a wary-looking David being fitted for a full-face mask as part of his OSA treatment. This image prompted me to do my own research on OSA and its available treatments. I learned about the most common and effective option-Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy. This treatment requires the patient to wear a mask, the same for which my brother was fitted, which is strapped to the patient’s face and connected by a hose to a machine. While the patient sleeps, the machine generates airflow to keep the tissues in their airway open throughout the night and the symptoms and negative health effects of the disorder at bay.
However, 80 percent of OSA patients abandon treatment within a year of diagnosis because they cannot tolerate their CPAP treatment due to the discomfort, noise, and restriction of movement. My brother, too, became fed up with the burden of CPAP therapy; he was aware of the risks of living untreated but unable to continue with the treatment. David, and millions like him who become non-compliant, are left feeling guilty about their choices and frustrated with their options. As an inventor, I was immediately drawn to exploring alternative methods of treatment that could better the lives of these sleep apnea patients.
At the same time as I was contemplating better treatment options for my brother, I was working with a cutting-edge technology that provides the micro-mechanics in gadgets like video game controllers, fingerprint sensors, and inkjet printers. The versatility and ability of these micro-systems allow for countless applications that can, in many cases, outperform their macro counterparts (compare the first computer to the latest mobile phone). That’s when it hit me: the micro-pump technology I had designed to cool off electronic processors could pump air into my brother’s nose! I made some quick calculations and excitedly called David for more information on the range of air pressure his CPAP machine needed to provide effective treatment. After confirming that this micro-sized technology was capable of pushing air at the same pressure as my brother’s machine, I eagerly got to work on a design.
As this technology develops, I continue to hear stories from people just like David. I now realize that the non-compliance statistics do not begin to describe the physical and emotional toll that this disorder can take. Men and women of all ages, all over the world, are in need of a better OSA treatment option to improve their lives. Looking forward, I am hopeful that the OSA community will continue to spread awareness of sleep apnea, reaching the people who can benefit from advancements in its treatment. Yes, necessity is the mother of invention, but in Airing’s case, it is also the brother.