The Sunday Challenger of Northern Kentucky is reporting about at-home prescreening test for sleep apnea called SleepStrip. The product, distributed by Medline Industries Inc., “may help physicians, hospitals, and sleep centers nationwide screen and triage patients.” The SleepStrip® is an FDA-cleared technology.
SLP Ltd., a Tel-Aviv, Israel company that manufactures and designed the device, explains how it works:
The Sleep Strip is a novel, low-cost device designed to help physicians screen patients for sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) reliably and conveniently.
The SleepStrip is, in fact, a “one-channel sleep lab” comprising signal detection, acquisition, analysis and display in one easy-to-use disposable package. The flow signals are derived from three thermistors (respiration airflow temperature sensors) similar to those used in standard sleep-lab sensors. These sensors are located under the three blue dots on the nose and mouth prongs. The signal is processed ten times each second by SleepStrip’s internal microprocessor (CPU). The CPU tracks the signal continuously, calculating average amplitude of normal respiration cycles, peak-to-peak amplitude for each consecutive breath cycle, and other parameters of the respiration pattern.
An apnea event is counted when respiration amplitude drops to under 12% of the average for more than 10 seconds. A hyponea event is counted if respiration amplitude drops to less than 50%, but more than 12% of the average for more than 10 seconds. Respiratory events (apneas and hypopneas) are counted for the duration of the study. These values were selected for maximum correlation with polysomnographic results.
After a study is complete, the apnea and hypopnea counts are used to calculate the final test score, which is readable on the display 30 minutes after the study has ended.
The SleepStrip’s intended use is for screening purposes only. It should be used on patients who are considered high risk for SAS and require additional information for diagnosis. If the indication of the SleepStrip is positive and the patient exhibits additional indications and risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, heavy snoring, and/or a family history of SAS, he or she can then be referred for further evaluation.
Please listen to this group of clinicians: sleep apnea is too serious a disease to ignore! If you suspect that either you or your family member has an obstructive sleep apnea, get tested, before it wrecks anyone’s health. The disease has systemic complications ranging from its effects on the heart, lungs, mental functions and more. So take it seriously.