Patients suffering from sleep apnea as well as physicians are benefiting from the innovative use of technology by Itamar medical which is developed the WatchPat device for home sleep apnea testing. The FDA has approved this sleep apnea diagnostic device which is portable and utilizes unique finger-based physiology along with innovative technology for enabling the testing of obstructive sleep apnea. It also avoids the complexity and discomfort associated with traditional air flow based polysomnography systems. The home sleep test is acknowledged as the easiest to use test on patients suspected to be suffering from sleep apnea.
Patients that are required to undergo the home sleep test can wear the WatchPat device like a simple wristwatch without the need for belts, wires or nasal cannulas. The simple use which is intuitive leads to excellent compliance with a minimal failure rate of up to -1%. WatchPat is at this time a home sleep apnea testing device which is most validated clinically.
Validation of the WatchPat was also conducted against the polysomnography test which is considered as the gold standard with a documented correlation of 90%. It was observed that the results were accurate and comprehensive.
WatchPat is the sole non-EEG home sleep test for measuring true sleep time which is alternatively called real sleep time rather than just the total recording them to provide complete sleep architecture. This is being accomplished with the use of advanced proprietary technology.
WatchPat functions on the peripheral arterial tone which is also identified as the PAT signal which measures changes in the arterial volume from the fingertip to reflect sympathetic nervous system activation. This makes the home sleep apnea testing by the WatchPat device cost effective for the patient.
WatchPat is also beneficial for physicians and cardiologists because it requires minimal cleaning, preparation, or handling before and after the device is used by the patient as it can save them valuable staff time. The device can generate fully automated reports within minutes to increase workflow efficiencies and the turnaround time for the treatment.
Sleep apnea testing was a scary subject for patients earlier as it required them to seek appointments from an in lab clinic located far away from their places of residence. Patients had to travel to the clinic to prepare themselves for the test and spend time in the clinic with wires and tubes attached to their body when undergoing the sleep apnea test. The costs of in lab testing were also higher subjecting the patient to expenditure that insurance companies were reluctant to cover. These issues often led patients either to avoid undergoing the sleep test altogether or delaying the matter because they had to wait for a long time even to receive the results of the test.
Home sleep apnea testing with its innovative technology has made it easier for patients to overcome the challenges they were earlier facing with polysomnography tests. Presently the testing for sleep apnea can be conducted from the comfort of the patient’s own home making it easier both for patients and physicians to obtain results of the diagnosis and begin treatment for the condition without delays.
The WatchPat device is supported by PC-based proprietary software for the analysis of data collected by the device. The software is equipped with advanced algorithms which are automatic to eliminate the need for subjective manual scoring of respiratory events. If required the software can also enable manual scoring to comply with the standards set by AASM. This allows the medical professional to obtain a comprehensive sleep study report within minutes after the study data has been downloaded to allow patients an opportunity to initiate treatment without wasting time. The technology developed by Itamar medical is bringing about major changes in the way sleep apnea was being diagnosed earlier by making it easier for everyone to conduct home sleep apnea test from the comfort of the patient’s home.