Philips DreamStation Go Travel CPAP Machine Preview
Philips has released the newest addition to their ‘Dream’ range: the DreamStation Go. Travelling with CPAP can be a pain in the ass; but you know that if you don’t use it, you will regret it. Emptying the humidification chamber. Arriving at my destination without my mask or power supply. These are things that we’ve done.
Travel CPAP machines are meant to take the hassle out of traveling. Unfortunately, most devices fall short and we end up compromising our comfort for portability.
At first glance, the DreamStation Go looks sleek, small, lightweight, and portable. It looks like the love child of a CPAP machine and an iPhone.
It’s lightweight… Weighing in at under 2 pounds.
It’s also small. In fact, it measures in at 5.9 L x 5.9 W x 2.3 H inches (15 x 15 x 5.8 cm)
No humidifier!!! (even as an option)
This shouldn’t be too surprising considering it is a portable CPAP machine and adding a heated tube humidifier can effectively triple the power requirements for a CPAP machine. For the sake of portability and including a rechargeable battery, a heated tube humidifier is just not an option at this stage.
Both Auto and Fixed Pressure Devices are available
This is a major advantage over the ResMed AirMini device and provides a (slightly) cheaper option for those who only used a fixed pressure machine. ResMed, in contrast, will only be providing an AutoSet device.
Compatible with masks from other manufacturers
We previously reported that the ResMed AirMini cannot be used with masks from other manufacturers. This is only half true and the ResMed AirMini CAN be used with masks from other manufacturers; just not with the HumidX and HumidX Plus humidification systems.
The DreamStation Go will be compatible with any CPAP mask (except for the AirMini-specific ResMed masks).
It has an inbuilt battery. No, wait, no it doesn’t! The battery can be purchased separately and attaches to the side of the machine. Cheeky cheeky Philips!!
Attaching the battery adds an extra 50% or so to the total size of the device. The machine is still awfully small though, just a bit bigger than all of those misleading pictures advertising the device. nt, nt, nt Philips
The Battery – On the road
Take the machine out with you on a camping trip away from mains power, and you will get about 13 hours use out of a single charge. Obviously, you will get more if you are lucky enough to be using lower pressures than 10 cmH2O and have a mask that fits like a glove. Less if you use pressures above 10 cmH2O and/or have a mask that leaks like a sieve.
Although it will only last for one night on the rechargeable battery, it sure beats having to run cables to:
- The car battery, connecting it with alligator clips
- Cigarette lighter power points
- To a generator
- A windmill
In addition, the machine is easily charged off a nearby 12V, 24V, or mains (110-240V) power supply. These connections are sold separately to the machine.
The battery has USB ports so you can charge your iPhone as well – so your phone has enough charge to receive the data from the machine and it’s integrated Bluetooth connection.
… How good’s that segue to the next heading baby …
It will connect to your smartphone, tablet, or other Bluetooth device and transfer the data just like it’s big brother the DreamStation. So, if you are using it purely as your travel CPAP device, and you already own a DreamStation machine, you will be able to use the same software to view all of your CPAP data.
That’s pretty neat if you ask this casual observer.
In fact, the DreamStation Go machine has all of your normal creature comforts (except a humidifier) including:
- C-Flex, C-Flex+ and A-Flex (if you are using the AutoSet mode)
- Fixed pressure and/or AutoSet modes (depending on the model)
The DreamStation Go does not have any form of in-built humidification. So if you need humidification, there are two options.
- Go without while you are away from home.
- Try an HME (heat and moisture exchanger) in your CPAP tubing to see if that helps.
I’m sorry, but that is about all you can do. If you cannot go without humidification, then the DreamStation Go is not for you!.
I remember when they first introduced the 15mm tubing, and I was like ‘WTF Mike?!’. My first thought was that you won’t be able to get enough air through that tiny little tube. In hindsight, it seems to work fine. I had the same reaction to the 12mm tubing which comes with the DreamStation Go. But I’m sure time will tell.
Although I am curious to see how a barrel chested, big-lunged guy will tolerate the smaller diameter tube. If this is you, there is the option to add the larger diameter tubes to the CPAP machine. Happy days!
I expect the DreamStation Go Pro and Go Auto will most likely be at a price point similar to their DreamStation Pro and Auto big brothers. Out of the range of many who would like a second travel-friendly device.
Although it is unlikely that insurance will cover a second CPAP machine, they may be provided if the intention is to use it as your primary CPAP device. Otherwise, the DreamStation Go will need to be purchased privately.
Price guide is $US799 for the fixed pressure model, or $US949 for the DreamStation Go Auto CPAP.
If you don’t need humidification, or can tolerate using CPAP therapy without humidification for a few nights while travelling the Respironics Go might be a great travel companion for you.
However, for most patients (me included) the nosebleed price of these devices rule them out as a viable option. The price point is out of reach for many private buyers, and it will likely continue to be a niche item for those looking to supplement their therapy with a travel device, who already own a DreamStation bedside CPAP unit.