Philips offers subscription plan for sleep apnea masks

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Philips offers subscription plan for sleep apnea masks

Philips Korea is hoping to strengthen its health technology business by offering sleep disorder patients a low-cost rental mask subscription service.

The company introduced its new sleep disorder treatment subscription service and a sleep management app in central Seoul on Wednesday.

“Following the government announcement of the inclusion of sleep disorder diagnosis tests and CPAP [Continuous Positive Airway Pressure] therapies in national health insurance coverage on July 2018, Philips launched a CPAP rental service to help patients manage sleep apnea,” said Julian Cho, general manager of Philips Korea’s sleep and respiratory care division.

Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts and can be treated by CPAP therapy, which delivers a constant flow of air to the person suffering from the disorder. According to studies, the number of patients with sleep disorders is on the rise in Korea, and sleep apnea can bring serious complications, such as high blood pressure, dementia and diabetes.

The revised insurance coverage helps make treatments - including the Philips subscription service - more accessible to patients by reducing costs of renting or purchasing CPAP machines and masks to just 20 percent of original levels for insured patients. The Philips machines rent out for as low as 20,000 won a month ($18). Before the insurance change, a machine rental could cost up to 300,000 won a month. The insurance revision also brought down the price of the diagnostic tests from nearly 1 million won to around 110,000 won.

“Philips will present a total solution for sleep health management, including strict product management, differentiated customer management service and systematic home care solution,” Cho added.

The Philips DreamFamily sleep care solution for sleep apnea comes with three products - DreamStation, a CPAP machine used to keep the airway open, DreamWear masks and DreamMapper, a mobile application that consumers can use to check their breathing habits during sleep.

The DreamWear mask, made with flexible silicone material, has a 360-degree rotatable air tube connection that helps users sleep in a more comfortable position. The mask received the first prize at the Germany-based iF Design Award 2016.


BY KIM EUN-JIN [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]

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