Categorized | Sleep Apnea

Itamar Medical Brings Sleep Apnea Testing To The Home


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Obstructive sleep apnea

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Ever since the first sleep apnea testing was being conducted back in 1971, patients who were suspected of having OSA had to find a sleep lab to take a full Polysomnography Test which required an overnight stay.  But now, there are different sleep testing devices, such as the WatchPAT made by Itamar Medical which allows patients to simply wear a small and comfortable monitoring device in the comfort of the home instead of the sleep lab environment.

Itamar Medical has been manufacturing this diagnostic sleep testing equipment for many years, but it wasn’t until very recently that the American Board of Sleep Medicine formally recognized Itamar’s sleep test with the WatchPAT as a new standard in sleep testing.  This news is going to bring about several different changes in the world of sleep medicine, and it should ultimately bring much better outcomes and results to patients who are suffering from un-diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea.

For patients who are prescribed or offered the choice between taking the traditional in-lab sleep apnea PSG test or the home test offered with a device like the WatchPAT, the cost differences are always going to be considerable.  There have been several confirmed reports that patients who enter a sleep lab to test for sleep apnea often come home with bills that can top the $3,500 mark.  This is because in-lab or hospital testing for sleep apnea is very costly and involves many different people including a local sleep doctor and overnight lab technician.

The difference with a home sleep study is there are no other people needed to spend the night watching the patient, the WatchPAT device is able to do just that all on its own.  By monitoring the patients peripheral arterial tone (PAT), the sleeping device will also be able to pick up oxymetry, as well as breathing effort which results in several different diagnostic values on the sleep report.  For example, the RDI or Respiratory Disturbance Index as well as the traditional AHI or Apnea Hypopnea Index are all figures that this device is able to provide.  These are the exact same diagnostic numbers that PSG lab testing looks for as well.

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