What it does
Current CPAP masks tackling Paediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea rarely fit children, resulting in discomfort. LittleDreamer customises CPAP masks through 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printing, providing perfect fit and enhanced comfort for children.
Joshua, our teammate, was diagnosed with pediatric sleep apnea as a child. He suffered discomfort throughout his treatment, severely affecting his sleep and development. Besides him, up to 10% of children suffer from POSA globally. Yet, current treatments are not tailored towards the needs of children, whose faces constantly grow and evolve. Children hence suffer from discomfort due to the improper fitting of mass-produced masks, disrupting their quality of sleep. This inspired us to redevelop the idea of pediatric CPAP masks, enhancing comfort for the suffering children, bringing back the quality sleep they require for proper development.
How it works
The 3D-printed nasal cushion perfectly conforms to the natural contours of a child’s face, ensuring a perfect fit. Medical-grade silicon will be used due to its non-cytotoxicity and biocompatibility with paediatrics’ sensitive skin. In addition to the nasal cushion, the bellow-designed connector (silicone bellow) that serves to connect the mask and the hose from the CPAP machine allows 360 degree of mobility. This provides the child with a greater degree of freedom during sleep. Furthermore, similar to a spring, it allows constant compression and extensions to absorb excess pressure applied on the child face due to movement during sleep, thus reducing the occurrence of pressure sores. To further increase the compliance rate for paediatric CPAP treatment, our cartoon clip-on design provides the child with a fun and interactive way of assembling their mask to put on for the night.
After interviewing the relevant stakeholders involved and increasing our insights, we developed the direction of our product design, which was to create a personalized mask which fits the contours of their face comfortably. To achieve this, we mapped our stakeholder’s needs to a design specification. Using the specifications as a guideline, we generated concepts and evaluated them based on our stakeholder’s requirements. After designing the initial prototype, we evaluated it based on the design requirements to determine the feasibility of the idea. Our first iteration of 3D printing had minor problems functionally, however we were able to prove that the mask interface was in fact able to be contoured to a face. Our second iteration was a big improvement from our first design, solving the problems faced by the first version. This second design was tested at Easmed, a leading medical device distributor of CPAP masks and machines.The feedback obtained was encouraging, and moving forward, we are going to test the next iteration using better printing methods and materials that are close to the medical grade counterparts that we have planned for our final prototyping.
How it is different
Current products and competitors offer mass produced CPAP masks, which may not fit well on the patient’s face, resulting in discomfort. This is true especially with children who are constantly growing, as their facial shape changes continuously during their development. Unlike current masks, LittleDreamer offers personalized masks through scanning the facial features of children, using CAD software to design the mask such that it fits perfectly to the features of the child’s face, then 3D printing a mask which fits perfectly to the child’s facial shape. We also offer regular scanning and replacement of masks through the use of a 15 month subscription plan to ensure the child experiences lasting comfort.
Our future plans involve the expansion into the adult CPAP market as currently, many adults are dissatisfied with the fitting of their CPAP masks as well. We also plan to create personalized CPAP mask packages and the replacement nasal cushions for users who fit to their existing mask frames but not the nasal cushion. Our product will be more versatile and can be applied to the variety of mask frames that already exist in the market. This will expand our market to patients who already have a mask but feel discomfort with their current mask due to a faulty or ill-fitted nasal cushion.