At the Ben-Gurion University in Israel researchers have developed a smartphone-based system for evaluating a patient’s obstructive sleep apnea, as well as sleep-wake activity, an analysis of how sleepy one feels. The hope is that this technology, which is easy and cheap to use, may one day serve as an option over traditional polysomnography in some studies.
The software uses a smartphone’s microphone to listen to the sounds generated by a sleeping person. These are processed and categorized to identify unique events, such as snoring, coughing, or wheezing.
In order to evaluate how accurate their software is, especially since this is certainly not the first attempt at assessing sleep from sounds alone, the researchers conducted a study involving 350 subjects. They found that compared to traditional traditional polysomnography, their smartphone app was able to accurately identify sleeping events and evaluate obstructive sleep apnea and sleep/wake activity.