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Airing is a tiny $3 device that will combat sleep apnea without the mask

If you know someone who has sleep apnea, you’re familiar with those cumbersome CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) masks fitted with a hose and straps, which are worn during sleep. A company in Burlington, Massachusetts, is running a crowdfunding campaign to bring a $3 alternative to the traditional CPAP masks to the sleep apnea-ridden masses.

The Airing is touted as the world’s first “hoseless, maskless, cordless micro-CPAP device” on its Indiegogo project page. The 0.9-ounce device, which will cost $3 or $0.60 after insurance reimbursement, fits in the palm of your hand and has two nozzles that fit snugly in your nostrils as you sleep.

The key part of the Airing is the inhalation vent: “As the patient inhales, air enters through vents and is filtered and drawn into hundreds of micro-blowers that create the precise airway pressure needed,” according to the company. In other words, tiny bellows expand and contract within the device to build up enough pressure to keep your throat open as you breathe in your sleep, thereby combating sleep apnea and snoring.

The Airing is powered by a zinc-air battery, which last eight hours. The devices are disposable, and one level of support for its Indiegogo campaign will use funds to research recharging capabilities.

The patent-pending technology is not FDA approved, though the company says it expects FDA clearance to be quick. In a recent interview with Boston Business Journal, founder of Airing LLC Stephen Marsh said FDA approval could take more than a year. Sale of the Airing micro-CPAP is subject to FDA clearance and will require a doctor’s prescription.

It took two hours for the Airing to reach its $100,000 crowdfunding goal, and it currently stands at more than $626,000. The Indiegogo project will close on July 15, and production shipments are expected to begin in July 2017.