Sleep Apnea Continuum of Care Program from TotalCare eHealth Launches into First Primary Care Pilot

BROOMFIELD, Colorado June 25th, 2016 – TotalCare eHealth announced today that it has completed the development of it’s Sleep Apnea Continuum of Care Program and launched it’s first primary care pilot location. The program improves the efficiency and effectiveness of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) screening, diagnosis, and therapy for patients and their healthcare providers.  TotalCare is the first to provide a single, digitally-connected patient experience throughout the complete continuum of care. The TotalCare eHealth platform combines outcomes-based patient management protocols and a proprietary ‘eHealth operating system’ to increase patient engagement, improve outcomes, and reduce cost.

“We’re very excited to launch our OSA continuum program in our first primary care pilot location, South Pointe Clinics in Lafayette, Colorado” says Doug Hudiburg, CEO of TotalCare eHealth, a Broomfield Colorado startup technology company.  “We’ve always known that the key to effective sleep apnea management is at the primary point of care and we are thrilled to have an enthusiastic partner in this pilot. South Pointe understands the importance of reaching the un-diagnosed sleep apnea population within their current patient population and within their community in general.”

Sleep Apnea Continuum of Care

There are approximately 40 million sufferers of sleep apnea in the United States (about 20% of the adult population). People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer.  When the brain detects a lack of oxygen, it rouses the sleeper, usually only partially, to signal breathing to resume. As a result of restricted breathing, the sleep apnea sufferer’s blood oxygen dips below healthy levels with enough frequency to impact the health of their heart and other vital organs.  Also, sleep apnea causes extremely fragmented and poor quality sleep.  Untreated sleep apnea is a serious condition that can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, obesity and stroke.

The vast majority (approximately 75%) of sleep apnea sufferers remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated. Sleep apnea is most commonly treated with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, or Oral Appliance Therapy.

“As a new owner of a community primary care clinic, as well as a practitioner, I know that 30% or more of my adult patients are likely to suffer from sleep apnea. With the TotalCare sleep apnea continuum of care program we can screen every adult patient, manage consultations and evaluations efficiently, provide quick access to low-cost home sleep testing, and easily prescribe the appropriate therapy for patients who test positive for sleep apnea.” Says John Hundley, PA-C, owner of South Pointe Clinics.

The goals of the TotalCare Sleep Apnea Continuum of Care program are as follows:

  • Digitally-connect patient, physician, diagnostics provider, and sleep apnea therapy provider under one HIPAA, HI-TECH, and MARS-E compliant continuum of care
  • Improve key outcomes: hospital re-admissions, patient satisfaction, physician & provider ratings, profit per patient, and others
  • Reduce ‘net cost’ and ‘time to therapy’ for patients with OSA
  • Improve OSA continuum of care and maximize patient adherence to therapy
  • Collect usage and outcomes data and provide summary and detail reporting
  • Ensure effective follow-up, patient communications, and support with participating providers

For more information about TotalCare eHealth and the TotalCare Sleep Apnea Continuum of care program, visit https://TotalCareEHealth.com

If you have a sleep issue, or think you may be suffering from a sleep disorder, visit https://totalcareehealth.com/sha for a free sleep health assessment.

South Pointe Clinics

South Pointe Clinics is a multi-specialty primary care clinic in Lafayette, Colorado. South Pointe serves their community with a variety of healthcare services including family practice, walk-in urgent care, occupational health and certified physicals, chiropractic, physical therapy and holistic health. South Pointe’s experienced providers have expertise in a wide range of medical treatments.

‘South Point Clinics’ is a trademark of South Pointe Clinics.

Contact

South Pointe Clinics
380 Empire Rd #120
Lafayette, CO 80026
http://southpointeclinics.com/
Tel: (303) 665-8444
Fax: (303) 665-8448
Lisa DuBord,  Clinic Manager

TotalCare eHealth

TotalCare eHealth is a technology-based healthcare company that is focused on improving healthcare in the United States through a patient-centered approach. The first commercial implementation of the TotalCare platform is the TotalCare sleep apnea continuum of care program. The company is headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado with a growing network of therapy providers and clinicians throughout the US.

‘TotalCare eHealth’ is trademark of TotalCare eHealth.

Contact

TotalCare eHealth
3001 Industrial Lane, Unit 4
Broomfield, CO 80020
https://TotalCareEHealth.com
Doug Hudiburg, CEO

#cpap #sleepapnea #sleep #healthcaretechnology #digitalhealth #primarycare

Sleep Apnea Continuum of Care Program from TotalCare eHealth Launches into First Primary Care Pilot

Press+Release+TotalCare+OSA+Continuum+Pilot_06-27-2016

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connect1mill

Goal: Help One Million Sleep Apnea Sufferers Connect With Better Health

 

A few years ago, I think it was early 2012, I attended an event in Denver put on by my friend Ken McArthur called The Impact Event.  At that event, Ken asked all of the attendees how they could positively impact the lives of 1 million or more people. It’s an exciting question and a great framework around what Ken does.

At that meeting, and after hearing the stories of dozens of inspiring people (Ken included) who were already positively impacting millions of people, I set my goal my next big goal — to help one million sleep apnea sufferers connect with better health.  Since then, this one overriding goal has driven my actions in my business life.

In the intervening time, we created the TotalCare eHealth platform and the TotalCare CPAP therapy program.  Now we have the mechanism and program to reach that goal.

There is a lot to say about the story that lead us to this point, perhaps I’ll blog about it, but today we are looking forward.

Here’s how the TotalCare platform connects Sleep Apnea Sufferers with better health. We connect people with…

  • Online screening & sleep disorder risk assessment
  • Easy access to home sleep testing and sleep physician consultations
  • CPAP and health data
  • Physicians and other clinical resources
  • CPAP Therapists and therapy providers
  • More effective CPAP therapy

We’re just getting started, but the entire TotalCare team is committed to our big goal.

We’ve started calling it our ‘Connect 1 Million’ campaign, and you will be hearing more about it in the coming days.

Want to get involved now? Visit our home page and select the account type that is right for you.

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After 8-year Development Saga, A Vision Comes To Life

tc_avatarI’ve been struggling with what to put into a blog post marking the launch of our new platform. It’s been a long time coming, but looking back, it’s remarkable how far we have traveled.

I’ve started and stopped for about 20 minutes and finally have resolved to share part of an ‘internal’ blog post I made to the TotalCare team.

I don’t have to tell you that we’ve had a hard path to get here.

I don’t have to tell you that what we have built together is remarkable, in many ways. Both now – and in many ways we have yet to see.

I don’t have to tell you that we will have a positive effect on the lives and health of hundreds of thousands, and then millions of people around the world.

We are crossing the chasm.

The digital divide.

The last mile in connected patient care.

What started as a wild concept 8 years ago is now in the palm of my hand.  It’s like making the plans for a bus route from San Francisco to New York, and ending up with a high-speed bullet train 8 years later.

Both get you from one point to another, but the scope, mode and speed are remarkably different.

We are addressing issues now that are at the heart of healthcare, not just in the US, but around the world.

Connecting patients and providers.  Connecting data among all stakeholders.  Providing scalable patient management protocols along the complete continuum of care. Tracking and improving outcomes at scale. Maximizing efficiencies. Patient empowerment… and on.

These are the things we do now, and will rapidly improve on as we go forward — and they are the biggest issues facing healthcare.

TotalCare is an eHealth technology platform that helps individuals manage their personal health and helps their healthcare providers manage more patients, more effectively, and more efficiently.

Learn more, and join us at the heart of the digital healthcare revolution.

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eHealth Technology Platform Aims to Improve Efficiencies and Outcomes for the Sleep Apnea Continuum of Care and Beyond

ehealth_technology_platformBroomfield, Colorado March, 08, 2016 – CPAP TotalCare Inc. (DBA TotalCare eHealth) announced today the launch of its TotalCare eHealth platform for patients and their healthcare providers that combines outcomes-based patient management protocols and a proprietary ‘eHealth operating system’ to help providers attract more patients and manage them more effectively resulting in better outcomes and increased profit.

While the platform is built to support any targeted disease state, therapy, or procedure, the company’s first commercial implementation is in the US Sleep Health market focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) screening, diagnosis, and therapy.

“Our strategy is to focus narrowly on the OSA continuum of care and then apply the model and platform to other health verticals such as chronic sinusitis, obesity, diabetes, depression & anxiety, and smoking cessation” says TotalCare Founder and CEO, Doug Hudiburg.

This new eHealth web application and therapy program provides CPAP users a way to stay connected with their healthcare providers as well as efficiently self-monitor their CPAP and health data and manage their equipment and supplies. It allows CPAP therapy providers and clinicians to deliver the highest standard of care to a large patient population in an efficient and economical manner.

“We have been looking for an affordable and efficient way to stay in touch with, and manage, our CPAP patients.” said Robert McCoy, President of Valleyaire Respiratory and Valley Inspired Labs – one of the initial pilot locations for the TotalCare eHealth platform.  “Because of the inherent difficulty of staying in close contact with a growing pool of patients, therapy providers, patients, and their providers often lose touch – which leaves the patient feeling isolated and unsupported – something no one wants.”

The TotalCare eHealth platform…

  • Standardizes best practices with outcomes-based eHealth protocols
  • Digitally-unifies patients and all clinicians onto one shared platform
  • Empowers patients to utilize self-help resources and online ordering
  • Utilizes low-cost interactive technology for screening, patient education, and patient communications
  • Automates routine activities & supports efficient 1-on-1 interaction with patients who need it
  • Collects, Tracks, stores, analyzes, and reports on therapy metrics and outcomes data
  • Utilizes ‘big data’ and analytics to improve eHealth protocols – true evidence-based medicine
  • Facilitates monitoring, early detection and intervention when needed

The company is intensely focused on providing CPAP users with the tools, resources, and support they need in order to get the best possible result from their experience with CPAP Therapy. For Clinicians and therapy providers, the solution addresses the fundamental problems and inefficiencies related to CPAP Therapy.

TotalCare eHealth

TotalCare eHealth is a technology-based healthcare company that is focused on improving healthcare in the United States through a patient-centered approach. The company is headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado with a growing network of Therapy Associates and Clinicians throughout the US.

Contact

TotalCare eHealth
3001 Industrial Lane, Unit 4
Broomfield, CO 80020
https://TotalCareEHealth.com
Doug Hudiburg, President
303-469-3392; doug@totalcareehealth.com

#cpap #sleepapnea #sleep #healthcaretechnology #digitalhealth

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What eHealth Program Would You Choose

healthThe TotalCare eHealth programs are designed to help people change their health habits, track and improve their therapy, or assess their risk for different medical conditions. These online programs offer a step-by-step approach to behavioral change that are tailored to your wellness goals. Our programs are focused on making eHealth easier and more effective for users, therapy providers, and clinicians and to help everyone involved get the best possible result from any therapy.  Depending upon which program you enroll in, you may expect to receive, among other things:

  • The tools to create a plan and measure your progress toward meeting your goals
  • Your private, customized to-do list to help you achieve your goals
  • Quick interactive checkups to make sure your therapy stays on track
  • The ability to monitor, log and analyze important ‘health metrics’ such as weight, activity, sleep, blood pressure, sleep quality and more
  • Connect ‘wearable’ or ‘health peripheral’ devices Including, FitBit™, Jawbone™, Withings™, MapMyFitness™, and many more
  • Store and share prescriptions, medical studies, and other health documents in a secure environment
  • The TotalCare eHealth platform provides therapy providers and clinicians with a secure, private way to connect with and easily support users who need assistance.

Which of the following programs would interest you? (Choose up to 4)

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benefits of napping

Benefits of Napping – Afternoon Naps Help Improve Emotional and Mental Health

In a Wall Street Journal infographic, entitled “How to Take the Perfect Nap,” researcher suggests the most useful nap depends on what the napper needs.

Contrary to popular belief, the perfect nap doesn’t need to be long — but it must be consistent, quick, and in the dark. The power nap (10 to 20 minutes) is ideal for a boost in focus and productivity, according to a 2012 study. Researchers found the 10-minute nap produced immediate improvements in sleep latency, sleepiness, fatigue, vigor, and cognitive performance. The 20-minute nap, however, produced improvements 35 minutes after napping, and lasting up to 125 minutes.

Although it may be tempting to stay asleep, a 30-minute nap can lead to sleep inertia, or the feeling of grogginess and disorientation that comes when waking up. A 2015 study found sleeping for up to 30 minutes can reverse the hormonal impact of a poor night’s sleep. Researchers claim their study is the first to find napping could be used to restore biomarkers of neuroendocrine and immune health back to what’s considered normal.

Napping for more than 90 minutes usually goes through ever sleep stage, including REM and deep, slow-wave sleep, which helps to clear the mind, improve memory recall, and restore lost sleep. Interestingly, naps that include a full sleep cycle limit sleep inertia and make it easier for us to wake up.

Remember, napping later in the day can interfere with us falling asleep at night, and disrupt our body clock. So nap responsibly.

Original Source:

http://www.medicaldaily.com/pulse/nap-time-studies-show-afternoon-naps-help-improve-emotional-health-memory-369370

Benefits of Napping – Afternoon Naps Help Improve Emotional and Mental Health

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10 Effective Sleep Habits For Everyone

Sleep habits have a lot to do with how well you sleep. At CPAP TotalCare, we believe sleep is the foundation of health. Not getting enough sleep can effect all areas of your life, including: judgement, mood, memory, productivity, sex drive, weight gain, reflexes, and general outlook. Long-term sleep deprivation can increase your risk of many chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.

(note: if you are a CPAP user, check out our Better Sleep for CPAP Users program)

We created this infographic to share 10 sleep habits that can be established in anyone’s life to get higher quality sleep. Some of the tips may surprise you. Leave a comment with your personal effective sleep habits below!

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Sleep Habits infographic

 

Sleep Habits #1: Keep It Dark

Create a quiet, dark, comfortable sleeping environment. Cover windows with darkening drapes or shades (dark trash bags work too) or wear a sleep mask to block light. Minimize disturbance from environmental noises with foam earplugs or use a room fan to muffle noise. If you can, adjust the room temperature to suit you. If you can’t, use extra blankets to stay warm. Use that room fan both to muffle noise AND keep you cool.

Sleep Habits #2: Use The Bedroom Exclusively for Bedroom Activities

Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex. Remove the TV, computer, laptop, etc. from your bedroom. Don’t eat or drink in bed. Keep discussions / arguments out of the bedroom.

Sleep Habits #3: Cut The Caffeine

Stop caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime. Caffeine promotes wakefulness and disrupts sleep.

Sleep Habits #4: Don’t Drink Alcohol Before Bed

Don’t drink alcohol before bed. Alcohol initially makes you feel sleepy, but disrupts and lightens your sleep several hours later. In short, alcohol reduces the recuperative value of sleep. Nicotine – and withdrawal from nicotine in the middle of the night – also disrupts sleep. If you need help quitting drinking or using nicotine products, see your healthcare provider for options.

Sleep Habits #5: Exercise Early

Get your exercise in by early evening. Exercising is great – just be sure to finish at least 3 hours before bedtime so that you have plenty of time to wind down.

Sleep Habits #6: No Empty Stomach

Don’t go to bed hungry. A light bedtime snack (e.g., milk and crackers) can be helpful, but do not eat a large meal close to bedtime. And empty your bladder just before you go to bed so that the urge to urinate doesn’t disrupt your sleep. The following sleep hygiene habits are especially critical for those experiencing sleep problems:

Sleep Habits #7: Maintain a Routine

Maintain a consistent, regular routine that starts with a fixed wake-up time. Start by setting a fixed time to wake up, get out of bed, and get exposure to light each day. Pick a time that you can maintain during the week AND on weekends. Then adjust your bedtime so that you target 7—8 hours of sleep.

Sleep Habits #8: Get Up if You Can’t Sleep

Get out of bed if you can’t sleep. Only go to bed (and stay in bed) when you feel sleepy. Do not try to force yourself to fall asleep – it will tend to make you more awake, making the problem worse. If you wake up in the middle of the night, give yourself about 20 minutes to return to sleep. If you do not return to sleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing. Do not return to bed until you feel sleepy.

Sleep Habits #9: Nap Wisely

Nap wisely but sparingly. Napping can be a good way to make up for poor/reduced nighttime sleep, but naps can cause problems falling asleep or staying asleep at night – especially if those naps are longer than 1 hour and/or if they are taken late in the day (after 1500 hours)If you need to nap for safety reasons (e.g., driving), try to take a short (30-60 minute) nap in the late morning or early afternoon (e.g., right after lunch), just enough to take the edge off your sleepiness.

Sleep Habits #10: Hide The Clock

Move the bedroom clock to where you cannot see it. If you tend to check the clock two or more times during the night, and if you worry that you are not getting enough sleep, cover the clock face or turn it around so that you can’t see it (or remove the clock from the bedroom entirely).

Now it’s your turn.

Now that you’ve read about these 10 sleep habits, it’s time to take action.

Your next step is to answer the following question:

Which of these 10 sleep habits are you going to work on first?

Or, maybe you have some tips and habits that work for you that you want to share.

Either way, let us know by leaving a quick comment right now.

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Using CPAP But Still Tired All The Time – Tiredness, Fatigue & Red Eyes in The Morning

One of the things that makes CPAP TotalCare unique, is we ask, listen, and respond.

  • We ask patient’s questions and listen to their answers.
  • We ask clinicians and advisers if we are on the right track and take action based on their feedback.
  • We participate in social media, read forums, and talk to patients.

Here is one thing we’re hearing, loud and clear…

Many CPAP users are using their CPAP but still tired all the time.

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/bcNy6v

Here is the honest truth about CPAP therapy in the United States… the entire ecosystem is, for the most part focused on the wrong thing.

When you really get down to it, all anyone seems to care about is ‘compliance’ with the therapy. In other words most providers see the goal of therapy as one thing: usage.  As long as you are using your machine, that’s success — end of story.

But that’s not the the point is it? The whole point of CPAP therapy is BETTER SLEEP!

And just using CPAP does not always guarantee better sleep, in fact some CPAP users might even feel that their sleep is worse with CPAP than it is without. They are using CPAP but still tired all the time.

CPAP Changes your Sleep Patterns, 100% Of The Time

Sleep apnea is a unique condition because you can’t see it.  You can’t observe apnea events happening in your own body because they happen while you are asleep! Because of this sleep apnea sufferers are not aware of snoring, disrupted breathing and the resulting fragmented or poor sleep.

When you have untreated sleep apnea, you are so completely exhausted from night after night of inadequate sleep that you “seem” to fall asleep easily. Of course even when you fall into sleep almost immediately, it is often a poor, damaged sleep that leaves you tired and foggy during the day.

When you begin treatment, you might find that CPAP makes falling asleep difficult and suddenly begin to experience some degree of insomnia. This can be very discouraging if your experience prior to treatment was that you slept almost immediately. And now treatment seems to make falling asleep and staying asleep challenging and frustrating. Although you may find falling asleep difficult with CPAP, once asleep CPAP helps you progress through the four stages of sleep and sleep quality is greatly improved.

Of course, insomnia is only one possible issue that might be causing you to feel tired while using CPAP. It may be that your settings are wrong, pressure is too high, or your mask is uncomfortable or leaking. Any number of equipment-related issues might be causing you to get less-than-optimum sleep.   If your CPAP wakes you up every morning at 3am because the pressure ramps up too quickly, it’s hard to get good quality sleep. If your mask is blowing air into your eye all night, it’s hard to get good quality sleep.  You find yourself using CPAP but still tired all the time — not the outcome you would hope for.

Fortunately, most of these issues can be resolved.  With a few simple steps most people can sleep noticeably better than they have ever slept. And with good quality sleep every element of physical, emotional and cognitive health is properly supported. Sleep is the foundation of good health.

Any Willing CPAP User Can Optimize Their Sleep

As stated above, there are steps you can take to optimize your sleep. What we refer to as ‘Sleep Optimization’ for CPAP users includes these five key elements…

  • CPAP Therapy Optimization
    • CPAP is a complex therapy and, unfortunately, many CPAP users are left on their own after the first few weeks of therapy are over. Equipment settings adjustments, humidification improvement, mask alternatives, equipment upgrades… all of these things might be required to make your CPAP as effective and comfortable as possible.
  • Weight Loss
    • Being overweight makes your airway narrower which not only makes your sleep apnea worse, it also means that you will require higher pressures while on CPAP to keep your airway sufficiently open to prevent apnea events. If you lose even a relatively small amount of weight, you may be able to significantly reduce your required pressures and get a much better night’s sleep.
  • Soft Palate Yoga
    • One of the core causes of sleep apnea, besides excess weight, is loss of muscle tone in your soft palate (the back part of the roof of your mouth). This is a natural part of aging. As we get older, we lose muscle tone. What you see on the outside is true on the inside as well, at least as far as your soft palate is concerned. And just like your outside muscles, you can tone your soft palate through exercise. A toned soft palate means a more open airway, and much more comfortable therapy for you.
  • Sleep Improvement Techniques
    • High quality sleep is more attainable than you might think. There are simple changes you can make, starting tonight, that will increase the quality of your sleep immediately. Small changes in sleep habits or environment can have a big positive impact on your sleep.
    • Sleep improvement techniques include training in deep relaxation, breathing techniques that trigger the relaxation response, desensitization exercises that diminish the sensations of CPAP therapy, protocols to reduce nervousness and anxiety, and methods of effectively producing natural melatonin and normalize sleep schedules and rhythms.
  • Engagement, Support, Tracking & Accountability
    • Beyond anything mentioned above, your willingness to engage in a process to improve your sleep is the most important element of success.   If you are engaged in the process, have the support you need, track your results in some way (like keeping a sleep journal), and set realistic goals, you will find that better sleep is easily within your grasp.

We will be sharing tips and information about all of these topics on this blog over the coming weeks and months.

Also, we’re very excited about a new project we are starting to create a complete eHealth Sleep Optimization program for CPAP users. It will be an interactive self-guided program built on our eHealth platform with support and guidance from qualified CPAP coaches and sleep specialists.   You will hear more about that soon as well.

For now, we would love to hear from you in the comments below. What is your sleep quality like while using CPAP? What specific challenges are you facing (or have you faced)? What advice can you give to CPAP users who might be facing these challenges?

Update: Thanks for all of the great comments and shares :-) Although, it is difficult to hear about the frustrations and challenges people are facing, it also tells us we are on the right track.   We’re also learning a lot about the specific issues CPAP users are facing.

If you think we are on the right track, please share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any of the other social networks you see on the share buttons to your left. We aim to make sure CPAP users have a place to go when they are faced with sleep quality issues. Please help us by sharing this post (and commenting below, of course).

Also, if you are a CPAP user, please consider joining our team of beta testers. You can learn more here…


 

Update: Since making this post, we have created a stand-alone eLearning course called the “Better Sleep Course”  – The 5 Part Video Course for Sleepy People.

Through a series of 5 video chapters you will…

  • Assess your starting “Better Sleep Score”
  • Create the ideal sleep environment
  • Develop positive and effective lifelong sleep habits
  • Learn relaxation and meditation techniques to reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep
  • Assess your ending “Better Sleep Score”

Each of the five chapters include information/education, and simple actions you can take to finally start getting the deep, restful sleep you want and need. Learn more here… http://bettersleepcourse.com/


http://bettersleepcourse.com/

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CPAP TotalCare Launches Web-Based eHealth CPAP Therapy Program for CPAP Users, Therapy Providers & Clinicians

Broomfield, CO – CPAP TotalCare Inc. announced today the US beta launch of its CPAP TotalCare web-based CPAP Therapy program that makes therapy easier, more effective, and more efficient. This new eHealth web application and therapy program provides CPAP users a way to stay connected with their healthcare providers as well as efficiently self-monitor their CPAP and health data and manage their equipment and supplies. It allows CPAP therapy providers and clinicians to deliver the highest standard of care to a large patient population in an efficient and economical manner.

CPAP Therapy (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is the treatment of choice for a chronic, widespread, and serious condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  The objective of CPAP TotalCare is to improve patient satisfaction and adherence to CPAP therapy while, at the same time, reducing overhead and increasing revenue for CPAP equipment providers and clinicians.

“CPAP therapy providers have been looking for an affordable and efficient way to stay in touch with, and manage, their CPAP patients.” said Doug Hudiburg, Founder and CEO of CPAP TotalCare.  “Because of the inherent difficulty of staying in close contact with a growing pool of patients, therapy providers, patients, and their physicians often lose touch – which leave the patient isolated and unsupported – something none of the stakeholders want.”

CPAP TotalCare is building the world’s most effective CPAP Therapy management program. The company is intensely focused on providing CPAP users with the tools, resources, and support they need in order to get the best possible result from their experience with CPAP Therapy. For Clinicians and therapy providers, the solution addresses the fundamental problems and inefficiencies related to managing CPAP Therapy.

dashboard_screenshot_06-08-2015

CPAP TotalCare makes CPAP therapy best practices scalable and profitable through…

  • Standardized, evidence-based patient management protocols and business processes
  • Low-cost interactive follow-up & patient support – with email, text messaging, and secure private messaging
  • Self-service supply ordering and patient payment collections – retail/self-pay or 3rd party payer
  • Efficient patient management technology – automating many tasks and greatly streamlining others with standardized workflows
  • Therapy and health metrics tracking – support for all major CPAP machine and CPAP mask types, wearables, and health peripherals including Withings, FitBit, and Jawbone devices.
  • Document storage & sharing, equipment & supply maintenance schedule, video reference materials, and much more.

According to the company, the intent of this beta phase of the software is to work very closely with therapy providers, patients, and clinicians to test, improve, and refine the CPAP TotalCare program through user feedback.   “We’ve taken the application just far enough to have the basics in place, the best stuff is yet to come because it will be driven by user needs” Hudiburg said.

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CPAP Mask Explained

What is a CPAP mask?  The CPAP mask provides the “seal” to allow the pressurized air flow into the airway, thereby holding it open.  Obstructive sleep apnea patients, who are treated with CPAP, wear a face mask during sleep which is connected to a CPAP machine through a tube.  The CPAP mask forces air into the nasal passages at pressures high enough to overcome obstructions in the airway and stimulate normal breathing. The airway pressure delivered into the upper airway is continuous during both inspiration and expiration.

People who work in sleep medicine often hear the question “what is the best CPAP mask”?  Unfortunately, there is no right answer for this.  In reality, the best CPAP mask is the one that works for you.  Like other choices in life, CPAP mask choice can be complicated and what might seem to be a good CPAP mask at first, turns out not to be the best one.  So, how do you choose?

A variety of CPAP masks exist:  nasal masks, pillows masks, full face masks, oral masks and hybrid masks.  The nasal CPAP mask typically covers only the nose, a “pillows” mask is configured with two cushions, each slightly inserted into the nostrils, a full face mask is one which covers the nose and mouth, and oral mask only covers your mouth and a oral/nasal mask covers your mouth and has nasal pillows for your nose.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these types of CPAP masks…

  • Nasal CPAP Masks
    • Nasal masks combine the minimal design of nasal pillows masks but with slightly more coverage over your nose. The nasal cpap mask cover the entire nose and is held in place with headgear, or with straps around the head. It has a silicon cushion in triangular shape, that helps make the fit more comfortable. If you have air leaks problems, it’s because the nasal mask is too big, is too old, or it has the wrong style for your face.  Facial hair can also cause air leaking with a nasal mask.
  • Nasal Pillows CPAP Masks
    • A nasal pillows mask work best if you wear glasses or read with the mask on, because some nasal pillow systems obstruct vision less than do full face masks. You can even read in bed or watch TV in bed with nasal pillows.  A Nasal Pillows CPAP mask is very easy to put on and take off at night- especially if you have to run to the bathroom. You can easily slip the nasal pillows back on with out loosing your ability to fall back to sleep quickly.  However, they may not work if you are the type of person who moves around a lot in your sleep or if you sleep on your side.
  • Full Face CPAP Masks
    • Full face masks cover more of your face to accommodate people who mostly breathe through their mouths.  It is perfect for the mouth breather, or for those patients suffering from allergies, a deviated septum or nasal congestion.  A  full face mask has a triangular shape. It seals around both the nose and mouth, and is held in place with headgear, or straps.  The full face CPAP mask also contains a  hard plastic  frame which keeps a softer inner cushion in place. This cushion lies against the face and has an important role in maintaining a good seal and comfort.  Full face masks also have head gear which consists of straps and sometimes a forehead brace.
  • Oral CPAP Masks
    • Oral CPAP  masks allow you to use only your mouth to breathe the air from CPAP.  Because it uses just your mouth only, it’s important to have heated humidification to prevent dryness of the oral tissues.  This type of mask is good for patients who breathe mostly through their mouth, who cannot use a full face mask (claustrophobia) or patients with nasal problems (nasal congestion, deviated septum, etc.).
  • Oral/Nasal CPAP Masks
    • Oral/Nasal CPAP masks cover the mouth and has nasal pillows for your nose. So, it doesn’t cause skin irritation by covering your nose.  The hybrid mask is good for mouth-breathing patients who don’t like using a chin strap or full face masks, for patients who are claustrophobic or for CPAP users with irritation on the bridge of the nose.

Almost all masks require some type of headgear to keep them in place.  In general, your CPAP mask should not fit tight on the face.  The CPAP mask should be lightweight and fit the shape and size of the nose and your facial structures.  The CPAP mask should be comfortable and not have leaks.  You may need to make some adjustments to your mask to achieve these goals.

The fact that there are many different companies that make CPAP masks, and that each company makes the “best one”, can be tiring and confusing.  So, don’t become overwhelmed with the choices.

Rather than point you to one specific CPAP mask or another, here are some thoughts and suggestions.

  • When you are first diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) it may be overwhelming. You have to learn how to work a CPAP machine, to review the information that is collected on the machine, to worry about humidification…….then thinking about the right CPAP mask can seem impossible.  It is OK to feel this way!  Do not be worried about asking for help. Everyone adapts to CPAP therapy differently.
  • If you have been struggling with CPAP for a while, finding a different CPAP mask option can be helpful on your road to success, ask your care provider for help with achieving your CPAP usage goal.
  • We have provided a link to the most current mask options, look to see what is available, and remember CPAP masks are always being revised and new ones come onto the market frequently.
  • Some of you might be a CPAP warrior!  Great work! You love your CPAP and mask, but still might want to look for other newer options. You might just find a new favorite!

If your mask is not working out for you, remember… you are in charge of your therapy!   The important point is that you (yes you!) can ask your CPAP equipment provider to help you get the right CPAP mask.

Before you start looking for a new mask there are a few things you need to think about:

  • the size and shape of your face – the mask has to “follow” the shape of your face or nasal orifices to minimize leaks,
  • the shape and size of your nose – to avoid the excess pressure from the mask frame (if it’s a nasal or full face mask),
  • the shape and size of your nasal openings and interior passages – if you want to use nasal pillows, these interfaces have also different shapes and sizes. Find the ones for your nose,
  • your sleep position – some masks work better for side sleeping, others for sleeping on the back.
  • other conditions – are you claustrophobic? Then a full face mask will be difficult to tolerate. Are you a mouth breather? Then nasal mask or nasal pillow will not work without the help of CPAP chin strap.

If you would like professional assistance with CPAP mask selection and fitting, consider purchasing our Professional CPAP Mask Fitting service.  Tell us about your current mask… model & size, what you like about it, what you don’t like about it, what kind of problems you are having with it, etc., and one of our experienced CPAP Therapists will select three mask options for you. We’ll send you all three masks to try and your CPAP Therapist will be available to help with fitting challenges or questions via telephone or video chat.  Each product will also come with an online video showing exactly how to fit each mask.  Use all three masks and keep your favorite.  (Or keep all three at a great discount!). Learn more… (links to offer page)

Finally, a couple of ending thoughts:

  • Nothing about me, without me…… getting the right CPAP mask is your right!  Don’t settle!  Be your own advocate!
  • A good question to ask yourself is “how can I make sure that I am getting the right things that I need, when I need them?”  It is OK to ask your providers these questions and have them explain their choices.  Be empowered!
  • To quote Winston Churchill, “never, ever, ever, ever give up”; remember, there are many CPAP mask options for you!  Be empowered!  Explore, be curious and ask many questions.  It is the responsibility of the clinical professional to listen to you and provide you with what you need.

 

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