Home >> Linux >> Why Sleep Apnea Patients Rely On a Lone, DRM-Breaking CPAP Machine Hacker

Why Sleep Apnea Patients Rely On a Lone, DRM-Breaking CPAP Machine Hacker

Jason Koebler writes: “SleepyHead” is a free, open-source, and definitely not FDA-approved piece of software for sleep apnea patients that is the product of thousands of hours of hacking and development by a lone Australian developer named Mark Watkins, who has helped thousands of sleep apnea patients take back control of their treatment from overburdened and underinvested doctors. The software gives patients access to the sleep data that is already being generated by their CPAP machines but generally remains inaccessible, hidden by DRM and proprietary data formats that can only be read by authorized users (doctors) on proprietary pieces of software that patients often can’t buy or download. SleepyHead and community-run forums like CPAPtalk.com and ApneaBoard.com have allowed patients to circumvent medical device manufacturers, who would prefer that the software not exist at all. Medical device manufacturers fought in 2015 to prevent an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to legalize hacking by patients who wanted to access their own data, but an exemption was granted, legalizing SleepyHead and software like it.


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