New CPAP Mask Falls Short of Competition

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CPAPtalk.com releases the results of the eleventh Product Challenge between the new CPAP FullLife full face mask and the ResMed Mirage Quattro. The results suggest that more user testing during product development can help catch mistakes in equipment before it's released for sleep apnea patients.

The results of the eleventh CPAPtalk.com Product challenge are in. Full face CPAP masks have battled it out and patients have declared a winner: the ResMed Mirage Quattro. The surprising results suggest that the newest Respironics mask would have benefited from more user testing before its release.

Challenge participants, who are all current or previous Mirage Quattro CPAP users, did an excellent job of highlighting both areas of weakness and potential for development. User feedback through Product Challenges provides manufacturers with the tools to improve. Product Challenge votes are the voice of CPAP users. When asked which product they would use in the future, CPAP users chose ResMed over Respironics 45 to 5.

A read through the unfiltered participant reviews will reveal that participants were initially excited by the FulLife's new design concept. Unlike traditional full face CPAP masks, the FullLife does not have a forehead pad. However, given the opportunity to use the FullLife, during a three week trial, many participants indicated that the mask prevented them from achieving quality sleep apnea therapy.

What went wrong? The fact that 42 of the 50 participants experienced leaks with this mask, suggests that the development team of the FullLife could have benefited from early access to user feedback. The mask was difficult for most to adjust, and its lack of quick-release headgear clips prevented many from choosing this mask as a favorite.

Challenge participant Margaret sums up this sentiment well, "The headgear does need a quick release. How PR could leave this out is beyond me, but they did the same with the OptiLife, so I guess they don't ″get it″ or aren't listening to us patients."

The results highlight that Product Challenges serve users in many ways. Some highlight superior products and innovation within the industry. Others, like this one, highlight a need for greater connectivity between manufacturers and the patients they ultimately serve. We strongly recommend manufacturers, sleep doctors and users view the full results for subcategories and unfiltered user comments:

http://mask-full-face-life-quattro.cpaptalk.com/

User comments outline where manufacturers triumphed and how they can improve their products. For example, both products feature innovations that answer specific needs of the end user. Yet the masks also caused pain to the bridge of several participants noses. The FullLife caused redness and irritation for 17 participants while the Quattro impacted a reported 6 participants this way. The challenge results suggest products should be tested early and often by those who use them.

To learn how Product Challenge works, visit: http://www.cpaptalk.com/productchallenge/how-it-works.php

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Katherine Fulmer
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