Patch for at-home use detects sleep apnea

Researchers have developed a wearable patch to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea at all severity levels. Researchers, who published findings in Sleep, aimed to create a cost-effective, lightweight wearable to monitor patients without disrupting sleep patterns.

Current home sleep monitors often disrupt patients, making them less accurate. The SomnaPatch weighs less than an ounce and can be easily set up by patients in their home.

Able to record nasal pressure, blood oxygen saturation, pulse rate, respiratory effort, sleep time and body position, the SomnaPatch was compared in effectiveness with standard in-lab polysomnography. Some 174 patients were recorded for simultaneously polysomnography and patch recordings and then auto-scored by Somnolyzer software.

Results showed the patch and lab polysomnography had a total rate of clinical agreement at 87.4 percent, with a 95 percent confidence interval of 81.4 percent to 91.9 percent. Additionally, home usability rates found 38 out of 39 users were successful in activating the patch and recording four hours of sleep data.

"Our study provided clinical validation of a new wearable device for diagnosing sleep apnea," said principal investigator Maria Merchant, PhD, CEO of Somnarus. "It was most surprising to us how well this inexpensive miniature device performed in comparison with in-lab sleep studies. Most home sleep diagnostic devices are difficult for patients to use and are disruptive to patient's sleep. Our study showed that this wearable home sleep monitor is very comfortable, easy to use and does not negatively affect sleep."