The management, privacy and medico-legal issues of electronic CPAP data in Australia and New Zealand: Electronic CPAP data management in Australia and New Zealand

John Swieca, Garun S. Hamilton, Hailey Meaklim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Study objective Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is considered to be the gold standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). CPAP monitoring systems allow tracking of patient CPAP adherence and treatment efficacy, by measuring residual sleep-disordered breathing, hours of CPAP use, and mask leak etc. The American Thoracic Society (ATS) published a position paper in 2013 highlighting issues of interpreting CPAP data such as a lack of consistency between CPAP manufacturers data algorithms, legal implications of CPAP data and implications for CPAP adherence. This paper extends on this work by investigating these issues in an Australasian context. Method A review of current literature on CPAP monitoring systems, privacy and security of CPAP data for major Australasian CPAP providers, and CPAP adherence was undertaken. A legal review was also commissioned for issues related to privacy and security of CPAP data. Results CPAP manufacturers’ utilize different algorithms for respiratory event detection and clinicians need to be aware the implications for interpreting CPAP data. Australasian CPAP manufacturers have created security/privacy policies with the intent to follow relevant legislation to protect patients’ CPAP data, however they do need to be constantly reviewed and updated to avoid data breaches and changes to agreements. No guarantees can be provided by the Australasian Sleep Association on CPAP manufacturers’ compliance with these policies and there is the potential for some degree of liability for physicians and CPAP providers associated with CPAP data. Lastly, providing patients with feedback on their CPAP usage and OSA management appears to have positive influence CPAP adherence. Conclusions CPAP data provides many opportunities to increase OSA patient care and to help patients self-manage this chronic condition. However, issues relating to lack of standardization of CPAP parameters, privacy, security, and legal implications will need to be managed in this changing technologic and clinical environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S48-S55
Number of pages8
JournalSleep Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • CPAP adherence
  • CPAP tracking systems
  • Event detection algorithms
  • Obstructive sleep apnoea

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