Insomnia, Snoring, Sleep Apnea

The world and life of a sleep tech

High Tech Helps in Sleep Disorder Testing and Treatment

Posted by amykr on March 29, 2009

With all the new ways of communicating you knew that it would eventually leak to the medical field. In sleep it has changed to allow us to perform studies and follow up with patients in a whole new way.

Home sleep studies has come up with a whole new arsenal of new equipment to test for sleep. The newest technology the WatchPat uses peripheral arterial tension to determine if you stop breathing in your sleep. All you do is where a monitor around your wrist and a probe on two fingers all night. It is simple for anyone to wear.

There are several companies that monitor more information that include oxygen level, heart rate, body position, snoring, air flow and chest movement. This allows the doctor a bit more information to determine what is going on during the night. The information is downloaded after the patient wears it for the night and then scored by a sleep technician. Some example of these are the Respironics Stardust, Watermark Ares and the Clevemed Scout. The drawback is that the test is limited to testing for sleep apnea only. It also can not tell when a patient is asleep and when he or she is awake.

Bluetooth technology is now allowing a complete sleep study to be done at home. A technician comes to the house sets up the patient with a fell sleep setup including head leads, leg leads, ekg, pulse oximeter, flow and respiratory belts. They then attach it to a wireless box and set up a laptop with a camera and Bluetooth and a technician will monitor it from a central location. The benefit of this is that you get to sleep in your own bed. The drawback is no one is immediately available and if there is an issue except through the computer. The other one is that many insurance policies will not pay for a study performed this way.

Treatment for sleep apnea has also gone high tech. The newest technology puts modems in inside CPAP machine s so you can monitor the patient’s usage and any issues they might have from the first night. This will allow the technicians that monitor the CPAP as well as the doctors to find out if there are issues earlier instead of waiting for a patient to call and ask for help or give up.

All this technology is here and there is more being developed and released all the time. Remote will allow access for patients who might miss an opportunity for care.

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