Respironics’ OptiLife

Stan Jankowski, U.S. Marketing Manager, Sleep-Disordered
Breathing, Respironics Inc, Murrysville, PA


Respironics conducted extensive market research over the past few years to help define the needs of patients and sleep professionals. We found that there was a glaring need for a comfortable, easy-to-use and non-intrusive mask that seals well and does not interfere with how people sleep. We started with those requirements and then honed the OptiLife mask design with thorough engineering, testing and a comprehensive trial process.

We followed a rigorous trial plan to ensure that the OptiLife mask would meet the real-world demands of sleep clinicians and patients. We conducted trials to verify the ease of use and intuitiveness of the design; we collected feedback from sleep technicians and respiratory therapists; and we completed multiple at-home patient trials. Throughout the development process, hundreds of patients used the masks and dozens of sleep professionals provided their opinions.


There are a number of things that make the OptiLife mask unique. The first is comfort. Unlike most pillows masks, the OptiLife does not put excessive pressure on the upper lip. It is designed to balance the support of the mask between the nose and the chin, thereby eliminating pressure points. It also uses a soft headgear that does not contain hard plastic or buckles.

Second, the OptiLife mask offers unrestricted side-sleeping. There are no features on the mask to prevent a patient from sleeping on either side or from changing sleeping positions during the night.

Third, the OptiLife mask is small and lightweight – it offers the patient a clear line of sight and weighs only 2.4 ounces. The clear line of sight reduces feelings of claustrophobia and allows patients to wear glasses with the OptiLife.

Finally, the OptiLife mask is extremely easy-to-use. It has only 5 parts, and it is simple to clean, assemble, put on and adjust. In addition, the OptiLife comes with 4 cushion sizes (petite, small, medium, large), which make it easy to find the proper fit.

The number one patient goal for the OptiLife mask is to increase compliance with PAP therapy. Patients are more likely to adhere to therapy with a mask that is comfortable, easy-to-use and enables them to sleep in their preferred sleeping positions.


Now, we are very excited about the OptiLife mask and believe it will become a leader in the pillows market for many years to come. In fact, we are so pleased with the OptiLife that we thought it was the natural choice to be the first mask in the Respironics’ My Life Series, a new generation of masks designed to be more personal and adaptable and to better fit the lives of patients, sleep lab professionals and homecare providers.

For patients, the new My Life Series means having more personal mask options that are easy to use and adapt to the wearer, not the other way around. Sleep lab professionals and homecare providers will enjoy the easy-to-fit, modular and practical nature of these masks, contributing to patient acceptance and long-term compliance.

Nasal pillows masks have been growing in popularity because they are lightweight, easy-to-use, and provide a robust seal, which usually increases compliance. We believe that the OptiLife mask will further fuel the demand for novel designs and will raise expectations in the market. Sleep professionals and patients will demand masks that deliver more than just comfort and seal; they will expect masks that fit their lives.

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