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Downloading data from positive airway pressure devices in adults

Aneesa M Das, MD
Section Editor
Nancy Collop, MD
Deputy Editor
Geraldine Finlay, MD


Positive airway pressure (PAP) devices are primarily used to treat sleep disordered breathing including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Adherence and efficacy of PAP is routinely monitored subjectively. However, downloadable data from PAP devices provide objective data that complement subjective assessment to facilitate further management [1,2]. Documentation of adherence (ie, compliance) from these downloads is often mandated by insurers. Although downloading additional data from PAP devices has become commonplace, their accuracy in determining efficacy of treatment compared with in-laboratory polysomnography is uncertain and data demonstrating improved outcomes with their use are few.

Using device data downloads to determine adherence with and efficacy of PAP is discussed in this topic review. Details regarding use of downloadable information for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) titration following initiation are discussed separately. (See "Mode selection for positive airway pressure titration in adults with obstructive sleep apnea", section on 'Assessing adequacy of PAP settings' and "Mode selection for positive airway pressure titration in adult patients with central sleep apnea syndromes" and "Mode selection for positive airway pressure titration in adults with obstructive sleep apnea", section on 'Follow-up'.)


Data from positive airway pressure (PAP) devices are downloaded for the following reasons:

Documentation of adherence (ie, compliance) to PAP devices is often mandated by third party insurers so that reimbursement can be justified. Adherence can be readily identified and quantified from device downloads. (See 'Assessing adherence' below.)

Downloadable data may also identify PAP efficacy. (See 'Assessing effectiveness' below.)

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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Jan 23, 2017.
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