Fisher and Paykel SleepStyle Preview
Finally, Fisher and Paykel have announced the release of their new CPAP machine: the Fisher and Paykel SleepStyle. I’ve personally had a lot of experience with the Icon range, so I am very interested to hear about it’s successor. Let’s see what Fisher and Paykel have done with the new SleepStyle.
Introducing the Fisher and Paykel SleepStyle (Specifications)
Released this month – the Fisher and Paykel SleepStyle is a discreet bedside CPAP unit with heated humidification. It is 6 years in the making, and is set to replace their aging Icon range.
Like it’s predecessor, the new SleepStyle is pitched to the upper echelon of the market – to do battle with ResMed’s AirSense and Respironics Dreamstation machines. Understandably then, it will be sold at a similar price point to these machines in Australia (and in the USA, we expect).
The machine itself has a relatively small profile, at 14.4 cm high, 17.7 cm wide, and 18.3 cm deep, taking up slightly more surface area on the bedside table compared to the AirSense 10 (and less than the DreamStation). It also weighs slightly more than the AirSense 10 machine at 2.7 kg packed up an ready to roll.
Improvements on the Icon Machines
Fisher and Paykel have basically redesigned the machine from the ground up, with an impressive amount of input from CPAP users and with a few overarching goals guiding its development. By liaising with CPAP patients, Fisher and Paykel identified four key areas, and set about designing a machine with these in mind.
These key areas are:
- Easiness to Clean
- Comfort Features
- Innovative Technology
What others think – Nick from the CPAP Reviews YouTube Channel
Nick from CPAP reviews (not related to us) discussed a number of these in the following video.
The Key Design Goals In more Detail
As he mentioned, Fisher and Paykel have improved the menu – making it easier to use and navigate as well as making it easier to know what settings you are currently changing by using words (what? words? who would have thought!?!). No longer will you have to interpret what the little symbols on the screen mean.
2. Ease of Cleaning
The Icon’s humidifier was a pain in the ass. First of all, the screw-on lid was difficult to take off and put back on; especially for frail hands. In addition, the humidifier chamber itself was incredibly hard to take apart and very fiddly to put together if you wanted to thoroughly clean it.
No more. The lid pops up with a push-button at the top-front of the machine. Also, the humidifier easily opens using the side-latch to allow for easy, and thorough cleaning. Kudos Fisher and Paykel! Although it isn’t as easy as ResMed’s humidifier, it’s a great improvement on the Icon machine!
3. Comfort Features
Fisher and Paykel have also heard the cries of CPAP users, issuing the SleepStyle with expiratory relief (yes, they finally buckled!!). About bloody time!
This has been a sore point for CPAP users and distributors alike, and resulted in many people choosing ResMed and Respironics machines simply because Fisher and Paykels machines lacked this feature. In addition, they have still included the SenseAwake feature (which patients really like). SensAwake (similar to ResMed’s AutoRamp) keeps the pressure low until you drop off to sleep and (unique to Fisher and Paykel) quickly drops the pressure when you wake back up. Combining both of these features (I think); Fisher and Paykel have produced a machine that should be one of the most comfortable machines to use, out off all the machines, bar none. This is a big claim, but I am interested to hear how other people find the machine when they start using it.
Fisher and Paykel have followed the lead of ResMed and Respironics and now have a phone app which connects to the machine via Bluetooth. In addition, the included modem allows healthcare professionals to remotely access data from the machines. Honestly, this is almost a requirement of these top-end machines today, and we are just glad that Fisher and Paykel have played ball and included this feature in their newest machine.
The app is easy to use and is styled in Fisher and Paykel’s unique palette. A great thing about the app is it tells you if your mask leak is good or bad. This is much easier than trying to calculate the mask leak by subtracting the calculated mask vent leak from the total system leak to give you the actual ‘unwanted’ leak. Confused? Yep, so were many of Fisher and Paykels old users (and some CPAP distributors and physicians as well).
No longer! The app (and machine) will tell you if the mask (or mouth) leak is within the acceptable limits. Nice!!
Other Items of Note
Fisher and Paykel are well-known for their expertise in airway humidification systems. This hasn’t changed with their newest CPAP machine, which includes an updated tubing. The tubing included air pockets between the heater coils that further insulates and flattens the ‘ribs’ typical of CPAP tubing. This creates the lightest, quietest, and best-insulated CPAP hose out there.
One issue is that the fisher and Paykel machine isn’t the ideal machine to be taking off the grid. The power inverter for the SleepStyle machine (like most of Fisher and Paykels machines) is within the CPAP unit itself; so there is no 12V adaptor available. If portability is a priority for you when buying a CPAP machine, then the Fisher and Paykel SleepStyle is probably not for you.
Honestly, Fisher and Paykel have leaped forward with the release of this machine and by rights should be competing with the ResMed AirSense and Respironics DreamStation for the best CPAP device. The major sore point of the Icon Series (the lack of expiratory pressure relief) has been rectified and the major drawcards of the Fisher and Paykel brand have either been maintained or improved upon.
Fisher and Paykel’s SensAwake feature was already a winner, and their AutoSet algorithm was already one of the better ones in bench test studies.
I honestly have no hesitation in recommending that prospective CPAP buyers give the Fisher and Paykel SleepStyle serious consideration when considering buying a CPAP machine.
Have you tried it out? Do you own one? I’m interested to hear your thoughts. Please comment below.