If you’re one of the 22 million Americans that the American Sleep Apnea Association estimates are suffering from the condition, it’s likely you’ve had an overnight test in a sleep lab hooked up to uncomfortable tubes and wires. (That’s if you’re not one of the 80 percent of obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, sufferers who go undiagnosed.)
Thankfully, new Israeli technology is offering hope for wider and less invasive diagnoses with a device that can detect sleep disorders while you’re awake, at home, and not hooked up to any machines.
Currently, patients are diagnosed using overnight polysomnography (PSG) to record brain waves, blood oxygen level, heart rate, breathing, and eye and leg movements overnight.
The new system, which does not require contact sensors, could be installed onto a smartphone or other device that utilizes ambient microphones. It analyzes speech during waking hours and records and evaluates overnight breathing sounds using new technology that is simpler and significantly less expensive than PSG. . .
“We are excited about this non-contact sleep tracking system, which does not require patients to wear uncomfortable monitoring equipment on their body,” said Tarasiuk [head of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Unit at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheva]. “This application can also be very useful for CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine users who want to check the effectiveness of their sleep apnea therapy.”