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A smartcard is a device for storing and transferring data. Smartcards are often, but not always, about the same size and shape as a credit card. The most noticeable difference between a smartcard and a credit card is that smartcards have metallic contacts on them.

The smartcard contains a memory chip on which data is stored. The metallic contacts allow a smartcard reader to connect directly to the memory chip for reading or writing data. Data capable PAP machines have a built in reader for writing breathing data to the smartcard.

Respironics and Resmed use smartcards to transfer data from PAP machines to computers. Puritan Bennett uses a data cable that connects directly from the xPAP machine to the computer.

Different xPAP machines write different amounts of data to their smartcard. Some will record only compliance data while others will record details regarding number and timing of apnea events.

Some times users have difficulties reading their smartcards. It is hard to distinguish whether or not the difficulty is due to the smartcard itself or the smartcard reader. So please check the smartcard reader discussion as well as this section for troubleshooting.

The chief difficulty that arises in reading smartcards is that the contacts get dirty. This can cause read errors in software. There are various techniques for cleaning them. The best way seems to rub lightly with a cloth.

Another difficulty that can arise is that the card gets bent or warped too much and broken inside. Best bet is to always have a spare card on hand.

Links to Specific Smartcards Edit

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