I’m taking the time to write this article, which is somewhat non-technical, because not many articles about Lofta are circulating online at this time. Lofta provides a telemedicine product for diagnosing sleep apnea. I went this route because of my limited insurance and the convenience of being able to test at home.
Why bother with a sleep test? Frankly, my wife couldn’t stand my snoring any longer. Then upon doing some research, I realized how common sleep apnea is. It’s so common, in fact, that I believe it should be standard practice to test men over 25 years old with a BMI over 26. This is just my belief of course, remember I’m in IT not medicine.
To start the process, I ordered a home sleep test from Lofta for $189 USD. I ordered the test on April 28th. I was sent a bunch of documents via Docusign, which included the typical telemedicine and privacy agreements, along with a prescreening questionnaire. Upon submitting these documents, I was sent an email requiring me to meet with Sleep Specialist. (Virtually, of course.) I scheduled the meeting for the 29th. My understanding is that the sleep specialists goal is to evaluate wether or not you should complete an at home study. If they decide that the study isn’t suitable for you, they refund your $189. The meeting only lasted a few minutes.
My study kit shipped out on the 30th. The kit that they send you for the study is a WatchPat kit, which you can read more about by googling, it’s very straightforward to use. What interested me the most, however, is how it interacts with your phone. (It’s not Bluetooth, the only thing I can assume is that it uses sound for communication. Someone let me know, if you can.) One downside, is that it took a while to receive my kit. I received it on May 7th.
After completing the instructions and using the kit, which was very easy, I submitted my results. After submission, it took about a week for the results to be reviewed. I received a well-formatted PDF report on the 14th, which coincided with a follow up call. The specialist that spoke with me was friendly and well informed. Note that they don’t actually send your prescription, they keep that on file with them – presumably so that you’ll buy one of their machines.
I choose to order a Phillips Dreamstation over the Resmed that they offer by default, and requested my prescription to be emailed – I had no trouble getting it from them this way. I did order the Dreamstation from them, since they had a decent sale going on the older model.
I received the Dreamstation on the 19th of May.
Thoughts on the Experience
While it beats the traditional sleep study by far, don’t expect this to be a quick process. You aren’t ordering a Humidifier from Amazon. It took nearly a month to get the actual machine in my hands. Also, they try to upsell you once you complete the study – which is a little bit of a conflict of interest. Personally I would avoid the sales tactics if possible. While the Resmed machines are priced fairly, I don’t recommend the support package they offer at all. For that price, you could purchase several masks and accessories. Don’t expect much ongoing support from Lofta if you choose this path though.
I’m happy with the Phillips I bought, though if I could go back, I’d have saved $300 and purchased the Luna II instead. You can find that machine for under $400.
Overall, if you have simple sleep apnea, and don’t need a Bi-level machine or have issues with central apnea’s, (rare) then Lofta is a great choice to consider. All said and done, it sure beats going through an insurance company. Nobody will be checking your compliance or bothering you, which sure helps when you take time to adjust to the machine. It took me about a week before I could wear the mask through the night.
Was it worth it?
Yes. I sleep so well it’s crazy. I had no idea how much pain I was in, especially first thing in the morning. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, then this is a great option. One last word of advice though, this is something you have to really work on to get results. You won’t be able to just start using it with success on day one, you’ll need to work at it.