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Philips Respironics System One Remstar Auto A-Flex

(Continues from my previous review of the ResMed AutoSet S9 APAP sleep device)

I bought the Philips Respironics System One Remstar Auto A-Flex for AU$1995 and H2 Humidifier for AU$430. In the US you can get them both for less than US$625 from Amazon.

Philips Respironics System One

I have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) and had tried two different automatic sleep devices from two makers for two weeks each before settling for the Respironics System One.

Features

This unit doesn’t have a nice colour LCD display as does the ResMed AutoSet S9. It is B&W and isn’t backlit, so you need a torch handy to read the LCD panel.

 

Serial number, model number, where?

You can get an optional modem for remote diagnosis. I just take its SD card to the pharmacy where I bought it.

The PDF manual can be downloaded, but someone should teach Philips how to make PDFs. You can’t click an item in the table of contents.

End users can’t analyse the stored data and see pretty charts. For that we need to go to a health professional, but we can peer through the dim LCD and read off the values.

Cleaning

You are meant to clean the tubing with water and mild detergent every day. The trouble is that drops of water blow into my nose, which is rather annoying. The manual says “air dry” – how? If I use the device to blow air, will it record this as a “system leak”? I remove the SD card in the hope that I don’t distort my stats by blowing air through the tube.

Registration

It is impossible to register the product online. The form tells you to enter the Serial number, which is almost easy to work out. Mine is SN P00444552 but it is followed by a space, then 570E. I don’t know if 570E is part of the serial number. As for Model number, take your pick. Is it “Remstar Auto, INTL”, or “551P” or “570E” or one of the other numbers on the box?

OK, I worked out that you can only register if you have the discontinued M Series. Bad luck if you have a current model.

 

respironics website

Which model?

The information architecture is terrible to figure out. For example, you can’t find a page devoted to my specific model, even though the picture looks like mine. The Plus, Pro and Auto models all look alike in the tiny images.

At http://my.respironics.com you are invited to sign up – “Signing up for my.Respironics allows customers to check their order status, warranty status, download software, and even place orders (if eligible).” However, an essential field in the form is “Customer Account Number”. How would I know that number if I am just signing up? OK, perhaps only special customers are meant to go there, but please don’t waste my time by listing it on the Contact Us page.

(I work with large websites as a search marketing consultant and can recognise the problems of doing this in an international environment, where no single person seems to be able to tie it all nicely.)

Sleep Quality

Having insulted the web and documentation teams (sorry!), the Philips Respironics engineers are probably trembling, but they can relax. The device works beautifully. It is quiet and is easy to get used to for a beginner. I have heard of patients who rent the fixed-pressure (CPAP) models and never get used to it, choosing to risk their health by not using a sleep aid. They should try the automatic (APAP) models, which are more expensive, but a lot gentler owing to the ramp feature and being able to adjust throughout the night.

Now, one month since the purchase, I hardly notice that I have a nasal pillow mask on my face, or the air pressure that seemed so uncomfortable the first time I tried it in the sleep clinic. I do sleep better and don’t snore. Yet, I haven’t reached that point of saying, “I’ve never slept better in my life” that my specialist kept repeating. Why? Perhaps having interrupted sleep (it didn’t keep me awake) all these years was “normal” for my body. I did feel sleepy in the afternoons, but I hadn’t been diagnosed a diabetic until about the same time. Now that both are under control, my noticeable improvement is feeling much clearer in the head and not getting so sleepy after lunch. I am not complaining.

(Mask review coming up soon.)

Ash Nallawalla

Ash Nallawalla reviews products for many publications, notably PC Update. He writes a monthly column for APC Magazine, the largest consumer printed PC magazine in Australia.

6 Customer Reviews of “Philips Respironics System One Remstar Auto A-Flex”

Review by PROULX, March 6, 2011

Bonjour,

mon CPAP ne fonctionne plus lorsque je le branche sur le secteur .
Merci pour votre aide

Lorraine

Review by Ash Nallawalla, March 6, 2011

Mon français n’est pas très bon alors je ne peux pas vous aider.

Review by ivan, April 21, 2011

Great review. You pointed out the absurdity of registering when the numbers are all there but NOT defined. You might want to do trial and error but Respironics is wasting our time.

Just a note though: Amazon.com is NOT selling CPAP. (You quoted Amazon as sller of CPAP)

Review by Ash Nallawalla, April 21, 2011

Amazon sells lots of CPAP devices and accessories. Here is the link to this one: http://amzn.to/eE5Puv

Review by Alan, May 22, 2011

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At first, wonderful improvement over standard CPAP. But second unit in three months to be returned after unacceptable noises started, and can’t sleep. Sounds change with different breaths.

Review by Dave, July 22, 2011

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8 weeks using – Loving it