Poor sleep quality can have serious consequences on the health of a person. Obstructive sleep apnea is particularly dangerous because of the regular cutoff of the airway during sleep that forces the person to wake up, or to desaturate. There are some therapeutic options, most notable are the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines that require the user to wear a mask with a hose, but they’re either not very effective or patient compliance isn’t great. Inspire Medical Systems has received FDA approval for its Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) as an option for patients who are poor candidates for CPAP.
The system includes a neurostimulator to which two leads are connected. One runs to the chest in order to continue sense the person’s breathing state, and the other lead is used to stimulate airway muscles to open up the passageway in concert with the lungs. The procedure does not alter the patient’s airway anatomy, and the device can be turned on and off and reprogrammed as needed.
Here’s an animation from the company showing how the system helps treat OSA:
Flashbacks: Inspire Obstructive Sleep Apnea Therapy Shows Promising Results…; FDA OK’s Trial for Inspire Medical’s Implantable Nerve Stimulator for Sleep Apnea…; Inspire II Implantable Nerve Stimulator for Obstructive Sleep Apnea…