News and discussion for Houston area families on childhood asthma, chronic lung conditions, lung disease of prematurity, exercise intolerance, childhood sleep disorders
Monday, December 3, 2018
CPAP or Surveillance Device?
An unfortunate spin on an extremely useful technology that can strengthen doctor/patient relationship and improve sleep apnea outcomes when used properly. Step off regulators! Dr. Susarla
Last March, Tony Schmidt discovered something unsettling about the machine that helps him breathe at night. Without his knowledge, it was spying on him.
From his bedside, the device was tracking when he was using it and sending the information not just to his doctor, but to the maker of the machine, to the medical supply company that provided it and to his health insurer.
Schmidt, an information technology specialist from Carrollton, Texas, was shocked. "I had no idea they were sending my information across the wire."
Schmidt, 59, has sleep apnea, a disorder that causes worrisome breaks in his breathing at night. Like millions of people, he relies on a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine that streams warm air into his nose while he sleeps, keeping his airway open. Without it, Schmidt would wake up hundreds of times a night; then, during the day, he'd nod off at work, sometimes while driving and even as he sat on the toilet.
"I couldn't keep a job," he said. "I couldn't stay awake." The CPAP, he said, saved his career, maybe even his life.