Comfortable CPAP Mask (2004)
Ruud van Heur
CPAP was and is the leading therapy for sleep apnoea, a condition where breathing stops and starts during sleep. A CPAP machine prevents the airway from closing by increasing air pressure in the throat. However, such machines were not designed with their users in mind: having to sleep with a noisy machine by your bed and an uncomfortable mask on your face, detracts from the benefit of the treatment.
Jasper Brands spoke to the experts, the patients and even slept with a machine himself, concluding that redesigning the mask would be the best way to improve sleep comfort. In his design the piping was directed towards the top of the head, then down both sides of the face. This innovation allowed patients to roll over and move about in their sleep because the system would continue to work, even if one of the two flexible pipes was blocked.
Watch the interview:
(English subtitles available)
A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine meant sufferers of sleep apnoea could breathe more easily at night, but the awkward design of the mask made sleeping uncomfortable.