The Evolution of Respironics

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Phillips Respironics. One of the two ‘Big ‘R’s’ in the CPAP community. The CPAP world basically has the same origins with Collin Sullivan, Respironics included. However, their startup was a little nontraditional. Founded in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, a suburb outside of Pittsburgh, in 1976 by a Mr. Gerald McGinnis, the company opened its first manufacturing facility. The company work diligently to create their first CPAP machine, and in 1985 they were successful.

The first machine released by Respironics in 1985 was the SleepEasy machine. Being that this was Respironics first machine, I am pleasantly surprised to report that it was a small, lightweight machine. With dimensions of 10” x 7” x 5.5” and weighing only 3.5 pounds, this machine is something of wonders. Compared to ResMed’s S6, this seemed to have been a godsend. Based on the information that I have read, it is a fairly simple machine to use. You have your ‘on/off’ button, ‘+’ and ‘-’ buttons to navigate through the different screen settings, a ‘ramp’ button to initiate the ramp feature, a ‘humidification’ button that allows your to control the settings, and a ‘flex’ button that allows your to adjust the pressure of the air while exhaling. The SleepEasy does have a water chamber attached to it, allowing patients the option for extra humidification if needed. Other than that, I think the SleepEasy machine is pretty similar to any other machine out there. Although this was Respironics first attempt at a CPAP machine, I think they hit the nail right on the head.sleepeasy.jpgOn to the next: Respironics REMstar Auto series. Now this is not the next machine in the revolutionary line of Respironics, but they way they upgrade is a tad bit odd. However, I think this machine is one of the better machines that we should discuss. Similar to ResMed’s S9 setup, the REMstar Auto is individually shaped as a box; with the water chamber combined, it is shaped as a rectangle. This machine is also commonly known as the System One machine – like I said, the progression of Respironics machines are somewhat confusing. Anyways, the ‘System One’ REMstar machine is a bigger than its predecessor, the SleepEasy. The dimensions are 7” x 11” x 4” and weighs a little over 4 pounds. The REMstar Auto machine also has what is known as A-Flex. A-Flex lessens the pressure while the patient exhales to deliver more comfort. Along with the A-Flex feature, the REMstar Auto series includes a few different updates – one being an updated algorithm to better detect when a patient is snoring, apnea hypopnea index (AHI), leaks, and flow limitation.REMstarThe latest CPAP machine manufactured by Respironics is the DreamStation. I guess I like all new things because this is my favorite Respironics machine. It has a sleek design, easy to use, and is small and compact. Weighing less than the SleepEasy machine, the DreamStation comes in at 2.2 pounds. The dimensions measure at 6.18” x 7.6” 3.3” without the humidifier. With the humidifier, the machine becomes 11.7” in length, so a little longer than what we are accustomed too, but still I really like this machine! Aside from its sleek design, the DreamStation offers many different and upgraded features that come in handy for older and younger patient alike. Take, for example, that this machine offers Bluetooth technology. This technology allows for patients to monitor their own therapy progression. Studies have shown that patients tend to do a lot better when it comes to meting compliance if they are able to track and monitor their own therapy. dreamstationAlong with the DreamStation, Respironics also manufactured their first travel unit – the DreamStation Go. This travel unit is not quite as small as ResMed’s AirMini, but it is small and easy to travel with. The DreamStation Go weight a little under 2 pounds, and its dimensions measure at 15 cm x 15 cm x 5.8 cm. Respironics currently does not offer a humidifier for this machine at this time, but they do offer a overnight battery as an Respironics has definitely come a long way since the SleepEasy machine. As technology evolved, this company grew and evolved alongside it, bettering their name and their brand. It is so interesting to take a look back and see where they started out from and where they are today. Did you use an older Respironics machine or are you just jumping on the bandwagon? Either way, I would love to hear your thoughts about the evolution of Respironics.

For more information on the machines discussed, please see the following links:




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