Today, many adults suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). While a serious health-threatening issue, it goes undiagnosed 80 % of the time. Each undiagnosed OSA patient costs the European healthcare system approximately EUR 6 000 per year, a considerable amount when compared to the EUR 2 000 cost of a diagnosed patient. At present, polysomnography is the gold standard for diagnosing OSA, but it is expensive, time consuming and cannot keep up with the huge demand for it, presenting challenges for OSA diagnoses. Paving the way for a new gold standard in OSA diagnosis To address this, the Sensa project has developed a device that has the potential to become the new gold standard in OSA diagnostics. Laurent Martinot, project coordinator, explains: “This device is a reliable and affordable e-health home-based diagnosis tool for sleep apnoea, which incorporates a miniaturised portable sensor that records mandibular movements during sleep.” It is also a digital platform that empowers patients and healthcare professionals. The technology is based on the latest insights in ergonomics and design. This ensures it is user-friendly, comfortable and provides a positive user experience. The device works by streaming the data to a mobile app that then uploads it to the project’s cloud software in the morning. This software automatically and reliably analyses the data with a powerful machine learning algorithm that instantly produces a comprehensive and actionable diagnostic report for both patients and caregivers. Profound benefits The technology is not just a simple well-being gadget, it is a certified medical device offering a complete diagnosis of human sleep. It brings together the best of sleep medicine and home sleep monitoring. Laurent Martinot adds: “It ensures the clinical performance of a certified medical device, while replacing the resource-intensive, costly and uncomfortable polysomnography process with the cost-effectiveness, simplicity and ergonomics of a home-based sleep tracking device.” Sensa will reduce OSA diagnostics costs, leading to an overall reduction in healthcare-related costs. This ultimately makes the technology affordable for a larger number of patients and consumers. The technology also meets the needs of concerned consumers who want to receive personalised coaching and qualified information in order to implement sleep hygiene changes and measure the impact of these changes on their sleep and health. Additionally, the technology will lead to better diagnosis of those at risk, especially individuals from a lower socioeconomic status. The project hopes this will encourage a greater proportion of such individuals to seek treatment for their condition. “The technology provides automated data analytics, reducing waiting lists, scalability, refined analysis and cost-effectiveness to better identify high-risk populations,” outlines Laurent Martinot. What’s in store for the device in the future? “Sensa should be used to facilitate apnoea screening in non-urban regions to reduce health and social inequalities within and between countries,” says Laurent Martinot. He adds that “access to sleep apnoea treatment will improve citizens’ quality of life.” Sensa is also planning for the commercialisation of the product. The initial targeted countries for market launch will be the Benelux countries, quickly followed by specific markets in the EU and then the United States. At the beginning of commercialisation, Sensa will have CE class IIa marking, guaranteeing its quality for the user.
Sensa, sleep, healthcare, obstructive sleep apnoea, diagnostics, home-based diagnosis, medical device