Millions around the world are plagued by sleep apnea episodes. Sufferers of sleep apnea have trouble breathing while asleep, and have complications categorized by short, shallow breathing or gasping while asleep. They can go for seconds or minutes without drawing a breath. The body requires oxygen 24 hours a day and apnea causes an insufficient amount of oxygen while sleeping which can lead to daytime fatigue, heavy snoring, and liver problems.
The most common form of apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in which sufferers develop a narrower breathing tube that restricts the flow of air into the body. Patients with OSA are at high risk for heart attacks or strokes. This is because they have less oxygen getting into the bloodstream which means the body has to work harder to pump blood to organs.
Detecting OSA has traditionally been difficult and requires complicated and expensive breathing monitor apparatus and chest movement gauges Israel-based biotech company, Itamar Medical, have another option. WatchPAT is an FDA-approved, wrist-worn diagnostic device that uses a special technology called Peripheral Arterial Tone(PAT) which monitors the arteries to check on how hard the heart is working. Breathing problems are often caused by increased blood flow in the arteries and the PAT monitor keeps track of the flow.
What is particularly revolutionary about the WatchPAT is its ease of use. Rather than expensive and obtrusive sleep tests at hospitals, testing is done in the comfort of the bedroom, the environment which shows a true reflection of your sleeping patterns. The WatchPAT is put on ten hours before the wearer goes to bed. As soon as the wearer returns the device to the physician, they receive an immediate detailed sleep report. This is a godsend in comparison to lengthy traditional hospital procedures and means that sleep apnea treatment can begin the same day.
- Wrist-Mounted WatchPAT: a computer and recorder worn on the wrist that analyzes sleep data.
- Oximetry Sensor: measures the levels of oxygen in the blood.
- Pat Probe: monitors the arteries to check how hard the heart is working.
The WatchPAT device has proven to be a success with sleep researchers and physicists. In March 2017, AASM, the leading medical association of sleep medicine physicians in the United States, has published an updated version of its Clinical Practice Guideline for Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea that includes the company’s PAT® Peripheral Arterial Tonometry) technology.
In response to this recognition, Gilad Glick, CEO of Itamar Medical, responded, “The AASM’s recognition of the PAT technology is an important milestone in the implementation of our quest to grow in the U.S. market. The WatchPAT is sold today both as a stand-alone device and, more importantly, as part of a comprehensive solution to further aid the diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea patients that suffer from related comorbidities, such as cardiac diseases.”
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