Sleep apnea is a very real concern for a lot of people. Though there are a few solutions out there to alleviate the condition, none could be so simple as a smartphone app.
Sufferers of sleep apnea have to often visit a sleep clinic. These visits are certainly not cheap, sometimes to the tune of $1500–$3000 per visit. Though there are in-home tests, they involve having multiple wires strapped to the chest, head and cuffs to get accurate readings. Diagnosing sleep apnea and its severity is certainly very uncomfortable with present–day equipment.
However, the proponents of Appian Medical claim that, rather than spending an uncomfortable night at a sleep clinic, sufferers can very easily self-diagnose via a mobile phone app that records and interprets the unwanted nocturnal condition. Michael Thomas, an American e-health entrepreneur who owns the company, has procured license of SnoreSounds, a mathematical formula that is the key to determine accurately just how acute the sleep apnea is. SnoreSounds was developed by University of Queensland researcher Udantha Abeyratne, reports The Australian.
Thomas is no stranger to apps that offer diagnosis or monitoring capabilities; he already has a hugely popular app for asthma. Called iSonea, the company builds applications that serve as a mobile-based asthma monitoring tools. Quite recently, the company launched AsthmaSense, that helps in raising awareness about the breathing disorder and helps patients manage and monitor the condition. The app is available for iOS as well as Google’s Android devices.
Speaking of app for sleep apnea, just like AstmaSense, the app ‘listens’ via the phone’s microphone and deciphers the actual conditions. Moreover, such a sensitive algorithm was very hard to come by Thomas said.
“I scoured the world for other algorithms and (Abeyratne’s) was clearly the best. He demonstrated that by recording a snore on a smart phone; he could diagnose sleep apnea as accurately as a sleep lab.”
Sleep apnea is a very commonly occurring condition in America. It’s a chronic condition that affects roughly18 million people. The most common symptom is heavy snoring that affects the partner more than the snorer. Interestingly, many aren’t even aware that they suffer from sleep apnea. However, prolonged neglect to sleep apnea can cause heart disease and increased risks of accidents and death. From a commercial perspective it is a $7 Billion market.
Quite recently, FDA even approved an implant that actively monitors and offers timely stimulus to keep the air passageway from getting blocked.
Using a smartphone to diagnose sleep apnea doesn’t seem far–fetched, provided the device has a very sensitive microphone, which most modern devices have.
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