It can be difficult to detect sleep disorders because most people don’t realize that their daytime symptoms are caused by a sleeping disorder. Even if they do suspect that they may have a sleep disorder, they’re often reluctant to speak with their doctor about getting diagnosed. We find that this reluctance is mostly driven by the fear of the unknown.
However, there’s a new product on the market that can help confirm or disprove your symptoms. A new, at home diagnostic tool is being used by thousands of people who suspect they might have sleep apnea. The sleep experts at Mark Levy DDS encourage anything that can help you understand if you are suffering from a sleeping disorder.
A clinical trial tested a disposable diagnostic patch called SomnaPatch by the company Somnarus Inc. This skin-adhesive patch has proven to successfully detect sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, and it does so across all levels of severity. This groundbreaking technology is comparable to typical polysomnography tests. According to Sleep Review, the Journal for Sleep Specialists:
“Our study provided clinical validation of a new wearable device for diagnosing sleep apnea,” says principal investigator Maria Merchant, PhD, CEO of Somnarus Inc, in a release. “It was most surprising to us how well this inexpensive miniature device performed in comparison with in-lab sleep studies.”
Ms. Merchant was also quoted on Healio:
“Portable home sleep monitors are being increasingly utilized in clinical practice for diagnosing sleep apnea,” Maria Merchant and colleagues wrote. “However, most type III home monitors are difficult for patients to set up and wearing the monitors is disruptive to patient’s typical sleep pattern.”
This new device is inexpensive, light-weight, disposable, flexible, easy to use, and has a minimal effect on sleep. The patch itself weighs less than one ounce. It has the ability to record blood oxygen saturation, nasal pressure, heart rate, sleep time, body position, and respiratory effort.
It’s clear that the SomnaPatch is a fantastic alternative to other home sleep monitors. It performs at a clinical level while collecting information. This tool is just as effective as a typical PSG done in a sleep center.
Healio and Sleep Review went on to discuss the trial:
The researchers collected simultaneous polysomnography (PSG) and diagnostic patch recordings from 174 participants (mean age, 54 years; 55% male). They found that area under the curve was more than 0.9 for all six receiver operating characteristic curves (5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 events per hour). The optimal threshold of apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) ≥ 15 was 0.86 for sensitivity, 0.83 for specificity and 0.85 for accuracy. The researchers performed Bland-Altman analysis which revealed that there was a bias of 0.9 events per hour and the limits of agreement were 18.1 and –16.1. The rate of clinical agreement was 85% between recordings with PSG AHI ≥ 30 and patch AHI ≥ 30, while the rate of clinical agreement was 89% between recordings with PSG AHI< 30 and the patch AHI within (PSG AHI ±10). Overall, the rate of clinical agreement was 87.4% (95% CI, 81.4-91.9).
The results from the study will be used to obtain approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration to use the patch to detect sleep disorders. This is a true breakthrough in the field. An additional study shows that the patch is very easy to use. The home study of 39 users showed that 38 were able to use the patch correctly to gather at least four hours of data using only the instructions included with the device.
“Most home sleep diagnostic devices are difficult for patients to use and are disruptive to patient’s sleep,” says Merchant. “Our study showed that this wearable home sleep monitor is very comfortable, easy to use, and does not negatively affect sleep.”
Researchers are hopeful that the patch will be approved by the FDA so it can be utilized by thousands of people who may be suffering from sleep apnea. Normal testing requires the patient spend at least one night in a sleep center. This can be inconvenient for the patient in a number of ways. Not only is their normal routine disrupted, but many complain about the number of wires and sensors used to record sleep data.
This patch will provide these individuals with an alternative diagnostic test. They’ll be able to undergo the testing in the privacy of their own home without the use of a complicated machine. The size and weight of the patch is barely noticeable while it records the needed data.
This breakthrough can help thousands of people get on the path to treatment for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. By eliminating the hassle of a sleep center sleep study they can quickly record the data and speak with their doctor. And, once they are diagnosed they are able to consider a variety of treatment options.
More and more sleep disorder patients want to get away from being hooked up to machines. This is true for the diagnostic process as well as treatment. The most common treatment option for sleep apnea is the continuous positive airway pressure machine, also known as a CPAP. However, many individuals find the machine burdensome and uncomfortable.
Advances in treatment options for sleep apnea have provided patients with an alternative to CPAP. Many are now choosing to use an oral appliance to treat their sleep apnea. This appliance treats mild to moderate sleep apnea, where most patients fall. It helps keep their airway open as they sleep without the use of a mask, hose, or other attachment. It’s very similar to a mouth guard commonly seen in contact sports. This alternative is gaining popularity as more and more patients prefer an “unplugged” form of treatment.
You can find this treatment option with a specially trained dental professional. Mark Levy DDS is highly experienced in treating sleep apnea. Set up a consultation to determine if you’re a candidate for this type of treatment.