I was working on this for myself and discovered this contest in late July when looking for prior art. I am now using this as an opportunity to share my work on this wonderful platform.
To get some understanding of the unscrupulous status quo in the industry and some nomenclature read this and this. I refuse to use the terms 'CPAP Machine', 'APAP Machine', 'BiPAP Machine' and such in order to distance this apparatus from those marketing inventions.
The challenge this project addresses
There are a variety of breathing function afflictions a person may experience that are relieved with a radial centrifugal compressor, such as:
- Lung cell oxygen adsorption deficiency . Deficient oxygen is bad. Treatable with higher than atmospheric pressure "constant pressure".
- Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome.
- Obstructive sleep apnea. In a deeper state of sleep, muscles relax, and obstructions could occur. Treatable with "auto adjusting pressure". The pressure adjusts into appropriate rhythms until the obstructions stop.
- Central sleep apnea. This is Ondine's Curse. In a deeper state of sleep, the body "forgets" to breathe.
- Ondine's Curse during the day!
- Pleural effusion. "Fluid on the lungs".
Note a person may be afflicted by two or more of the above things. In both forms of sleep apnea, the body notices low oxygen when deeper sleep is entered. First the heart rate will rapidly accelerate from say 50bpm to 100bpm in an attempt to fix the problem- which cannot fix this problem. The body then rises out of the deeper state of sleep in order to breathe again, and the heart rate returns to normal. The body then enters a deeper state of sleep and the cycle repeats again, over and over all night long. Hardly any deep sleep is obtained while exhausting the heart.
In children with sleep apnea, bed wetting may be a symptom .
Commercial diagnosis and treatment is out of reach for many people in the world. I've seen quotes of up to $1000-$2000 per sleep study. And $1000-4000 for the breathing device. $4000 for "ASV Ventilators" with algorithms capable of handling Central Sleep Apnea, cheaper devices don't handle that condition, and some people gain central sleep apneas as a side effect of treating obstructive sleep apnea. This is very expensive and out of reach not just for the typical person, but especially for someone with a disabling condition who experiences exhaustion all day every day due to their heart running a marathon for hours every night.
Further, the individuals affected are unable to perform non-trivial mental tasks either, as they experience brain fog and cognitive decline. As they never enter deep sleep, the brain cells never shrink to allow the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to flow through the brain to clear out toxic byproducts of the brain’s metabolism . There will be a significant cognitive decline at onset, followed by gradual decline over the years affected. Upon using the ventilation device with appropriate settings, the affected’s physical symptoms will be relieved over the next few days where they finally get some sleep. However it takes a few years of usage for the brain to return to normal.
How this project will alleviate or solve this problem
By publishing completely open source designs to a low cost solution, and instructions on how to build it.
How the project might be world changing
Take Carrie Fisher for example. Sleep apnea contributed to her death on an airplane. One issue people who need breathing assistance experience, is if their device is approved or appropriate to use on the airplane or out camping, or even if they have a battery setup for it. Maybe they were able to purchase a device usable at home, but they can't afford or justify spending another $4000 to obtain for one suitable for travel (they aren't so interchangeable, one marketed "brick" may have a battery but no humidifier, and is thus unsuitable for use at home). On top of this, the advice is to buy a new machine every 6-8 years due to the increased...Read more »