Wearable Patch Could Ease Sleep Apnea Monitoring at Home

September 4, 2020 09:54:13

Sleep apnea is one of the complications that you may experience, and it may bring some difficulties in your sleep. To know that you have this complication, you must spend a night at the health center where its screening can be done. You will be linked with sensors which will be measuring your blood oxygen levels, brain activity, and your eye movement. However, for effective detection of sleep apnea, a group of researchers have developed a wearable that has the capability of tracking your breath. The device uses a combination of electric signals and machine algorithms.

What is sleep apnea?

It is a condition in which your breathing can be disrupted as you sleep either by physical obstruction of the throat by the surrounding muscles or when the neural signals controlling your breath are disturbed. This condition may affect the quality of your life. In some instances, the condition may lead to memory problems, cardiovascular diseases, and other health problems.

For you to monitor this condition effectively at home, some wearables and sensors have been manufactured to measure your breathing patterns. The device measures your breathing using some resistive bands found on the chest and the abdomen, microelectronic systems, film-based sensors, and the wearable piezo-electric bands.

How the device works

The researchers who had previously manufactured a device that measures bioimpedance are also considering exploring if the technique could also be applied to monitor the breathing trends of the people with sleep apnea. Their device known as the Robin can be used to monitor a wearer’s breathing pattern effectively.

The team applied deep learning algorithms to the bioimpedance measurement to detect sleep apnea. The survey was done on 25 individuals who were monitored at a sleep medical center. The device was found to have an accuracy of 75% in detecting sleep apnea. The results from their trials have made them create a new startup to help commercialize the process. This device works by measuring the changes in your body and has been seen to be more reliable.

Some of the alternative devices that can be used to monitor sleep apnea need more additional physiological signals to be monitored as well. It will also require additional technologies for the device to monitor those other physiological activities effectively. The researchers have also added that the sleep apnea detection device can also be used to detect other respiratory diseases whose manifestation is akin to that of sleep apnea. They are conducting more research to identify the specific respiratory conditions where this wearable technology can be useful.

The development of diagnostic technologies, such as wearables to detect sleep apnea, does a very good job of complementing what other companies like Predictive Oncology (NASDAQ: POAI) are doing in developing unique treatments for patients.

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