Nasal mask, 'Mirage Activa', and accessories, for automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) system, plastic / paper / nylon, designed and made by ResMed Ltd, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia, 2002-2004
This mask was designed and made by ResMed, NSW, 2002-2004. It is designed for use in the clinic or at home with a flow generator in treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is a serious medical condition affecting at least 5% of middle-aged adults. Sufferers experience fragmented sleep due to snoring and airway collapse. It is strongly linked to a range of serious diseases including cardiovascular disease, obesity, respiratory insufficiency and diabetes. In 2005 the Mirage Activa was the highest selling ResMed mask. It features an inflatable air chamber to cushion the nose and provide a secure seal.
The development and sale of masks such as this is a focus for ResMed. Highly complex industrial design and engineering is required to continually improve mask performance and maintain competitive advantage in the marketplace. Design of the mask is a key to patient comfort and compliance with therapy. This mask represents continuing innovation by the Australian company, ResMed, who have been world leaders in producing devices for treating sleep apnea since the 1980s.
This mask accessories were designed and made by ResMed Ltd in North Ryde, New South Wales between 2002-2004. The mask was designed for use with a flow generator in treatment of sleep apnoea. In 2005 it was the highest selling ResMed mask and provided the best seal. It uses an inflatable air chamber to cushion the nose and provide a secure seal.
The development and sale of masks is a focus of the market for ResMed. Highly complex industrial design and engineering is required to continually improve mask performance to maintain competitive advantage in the marketplace. Design of the mask is a key to patient comfort and compliance with the therapy.
This mask was lent to the Museum in 2005 for long term display in the Success and Innovation exhibition.
The history of ResMed began with Professor Colin Sullivan at the sleep clinic of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. In 1979, he studied some patients who were heavy snorers. He noticed that they had apnoea and he guessed that other snorers could also have this condition. As his father was an inventor, he had grown up with the attitude that problems can be solved. He had the idea of supplying pressurised air via the nose (nasal continuous positive airway pressure, or nasal CPAP) to keep his patients' airways open during sleep.
To test the idea, he glued tubes into a patient's nostrils and connected them to a vacuum cleaner (no that's not a joke!) set up to blow air into the tubes. This worked for some patients, although others could not get to sleep while hooked up to the experimental machine.
Dr Sullivan had developed and tested a treatment for sleep apnoea and he had realised that the condition might be fairly common. He had seen an opportunity to improve many people's quality of life and to create an industry.
His next step was to develop a device to supply the positive air pressure via a mask, rather than through uncomfortable tubes. He patented his first nasal CPAP device in 1981, but further development and design work would be needed to make it suitable for mass production and everyday use. Sullivan approached Dr Peter Farrell, who was then working for a multinational healthcare company, for financial support. Farrell backed the idea and later became the leader of ResMed, the company that grew from their partnership.
The Sullivan Nasal CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) was the first machine to give complete relief from sleep apnoea. The machine was improved to make the flow rate and pressure adjustable to meet individual needs. The sleeping mask was also constantly redesigned to make it much more comfortable. Now sleep apnoea sufferers can sleep soundly and enjoy better quality of life.
The ResCare company, later known as ResMed, was formed in 1989 to manufacture and market the CPAP. By the end of the century, ResMed operated through offices in the United States, Australia, Germany, France, Sweden, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia, and through a network of distributors in more than 40 other countries. Its main manufacturing base was in Sydney and the company spent 7-8% of its net revenues on research and product development. The company was listed on both the Australian and New York Stock Exchanges and had a total of 186 patents issued and pending for a range of technologies. In 2000 ResMed made the Forbes 200 Best Small Companies in America list for the fourth year in a row.