Countless medical devices rely on electronic components. These devices bring relief to patients both in the hospital and home. One such device is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, more commonly known as a CPAP machine. The electronics in these machines play a huge role in solving sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects millions of people. Sufferers experience abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of shallow breathing during sleep. It is a dangerous condition that can cause heart attacks, strokes, and other health issues. The CPAP machines use mild air pressure to keep airways open and allow patients to breathe regularly.
A CPAP device requires sensors that assist in regulating the pressure, flow rate, temperature, and humidity of the air that is forced through the mask to create the positive air pressure for the wearer.
CPAP designers use various types of motors to meet their system’s objectives. All of these can be controlled by a Microchip Technology PIC microcontrollers with flexible integrated motor control peripherals. Microchip Technology provides several options for components in CPAP machines, including:
- PIC Digital Signal Controller (DSC) with Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and motor control
- Signal conditioning and amplification chips
- Temperature sensors
- Touch and gesture sensing
Another option available to the CPAP for Sleep Apnea patients that is becoming increasingly popular is automatically-adjusting positive airway pressure (APAP) therapy. CPAPs only deliver air at a specified pressure determined from a CPAP titration study. APAPs have specified low and high range pressure settings to maintain ideal air pressure for each breath. The APAP machine features a complex algorithm that determines the ideal pressure at any given time. Unlike a CPAP it can also adjust the pressure if the patient gains or loses weight. CPAP and APAP machines are essentially the except for the fluctuation of pressure.
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