Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Smartphone Application Helps Screen for Sleep Apnea Symptoms


Computer engineering students at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates have developed an award-winning smartphone application that is intended as a preliminary diagnostic tool for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Since it was unveiled in March, the Sleep Apnea Monitor (aka SAM) has won numerous international awards for its innovative use of built-in smartphone features to detect whether a person suffers from symptoms of sleep apnea. The easy-to-use application is designed to run on Windows and Android mobile phones and operate in the comfort of users’ homes.

SAM employs smartphones’ microphones and accelerometers to monitor snoring, record breathing patterns and detect movement during sleep. This data is then sent to a server, which uses statistical analysis software to assess the information for sleep apnea risks.

The results are sent back to the user’s phone and are also posted on a web interface, which allows authorized physicians to review the data. The purpose of the application is to help users and their physicians determine if more extensive—and expensive—testing is necessary.

The developers of the application are currently seeking capital to commercialize SAM for global use, and they hope to make it available as a free download. According to the World Health Organization, some 100 million people worldwide are thought to suffer from OSA.

Although obstructive sleep apnea can increase your risk for severe health complications including stroke and heart attack, there are a number of comfortable and effective treatment options available through the field of dental sleep medicine. If you or a loved one experiences chronic snoring or other sleep apnea symptoms, a qualified dentist may be able to determine the source of your condition and prescribe a custom oral appliance or other treatment method.

Please contact IHateCPAP.com to find a dentist near you who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

posted by Steve at 10:34 AM