Monday, July 13, 2009

Sleep Apnea: Microsoft Developing a Diagnostic Device

The 10th annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit is taking place today and tomorrow in Redmond, Wash. The summit brings leading academic researchers and educators together with Microsoft® researchers.

The theme of the 2009 summit is “Addressing World-Scale Challenges.” One of the challenges on the agenda is the diagnosis of
obstructive sleep apnea.

Tomorrow from 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. there will be a breakout session on, “Monitoring and Diagnosing Sleep Apnea in the Home.” The talk will focus on technology that the
Microsoft Research hardware team is developing.

They are creating a device to generate predictions of sleep apnea. It is a “neck cuff” that contains diagnostic sensors. The goal is for it to be used in the home.

OSA is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the muscles relax during sleep.

As a result soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the upper airway. A person with severe sleep apnea may have hundreds of breathing pauses per night.

Untreated OSA has been linked to
other serious medical problems. These include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and depression.

It is
estimated that about 80 percent of men and 90 percent of women with moderate to severe sleep apnea are undiagnosed.

overnight sleep study at a sleep disorders center has always been the standard diagnostic tool for detecting OSA in children and adults. But recent advances have made home sleep testing another option for adults who have a high risk of OSA.

How do you know which method of diagnosis is right for you? You should schedule an appointment at an
AASM-accredited sleep disorders center.

There you will meet with a board-certified sleep specialist. He or she will determine the best way to evaluate your sleep problem.
Image courtesy of Microsoft

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