Obstructive sleep apnoea is a chronic condition where sufferers repeatedly stop breathing while they sleep.
4 - 7 %
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common condition estimated to affect 4-7 % of the global population where sufferers repeatedly stop breathing during their sleep. This is caused by the upper airway closing up, usually when the individual is lying on their back. These apnoeic events can last for up to 2 minutes but typically last from 20 to 40 seconds.
The main symptom is loud snoring and the individual is often not aware of their apnoeic events because they are asleep. It is therefore undiagnosed in an estimated 85 % of cases.
The direct effects of an apnoeic event are surprisingly minimal — the sufferer will usually just wake up, roll over and go back to sleep. However, as this can happen around 20 times per hour in severe cases, it severely disrupts the quality of sleep. This can cause serious daytime fatigue which is linked to tens of thousands of road traffic accidents annually.
Long term, the stress that these events have on the body has been linked to an increased risk of stroke; heart disease; diabetes and high blood pressure. These indirect effects of OSA cost the NHS millions of pounds each year.
Sleep apnoea is usually diagnosed in a sleep clinic. This means going to the hospital, getting wired up with many uncomfortable devices and sleeping overnight while all the recordings are taken. These recordings are then analysed by a sleep clinician to determine if you have OSA.
This has a number of problems. Firstly it is uncomfortable for the patient as they are taken out of their home environment and have to try to sleep normally while wired up to an array of sensors in a foreign location. It is also very costly for the health service, with each sleep study costing hundreds of pounds.
SmartCare Sleep takes obstructive sleep apnoea screening out of the clinic and into the home.
Most of the devices used in the sleep clinic are completely unnecessary for diagnosing OSA. A good screening can be performed using just one device — a pulse oximeter. This non-invasive device measures the level of oxygen in the blood, which drops off during an apnoeic event.
We use a small and comfortable pulse oximeter that connects to any smartphone to screen for obstructive sleep apnoea.
With SmartCare Sleep you only need to wear a single, small and comfortable device, and you can sleep at home, comfortably in your own bed.
Unlike in a sleep clinic, we can take several recordings over successive nights to provide a more accurate screening for obstructive sleep apnoea.
Because we can screen the patient in their own home, we can provide this screening at a fraction of the cost of a full sleep study in the clinic.
Sleep apnoea screening and tracking is simple using SmartCare Sleep.
First rent one of our SmartCare Sleep screening devices for a few nights. It can also be purchased for longer term monitoring.
Now download the free SmartCare Sleep app onto your smartphone.
It will explain how to set up the screening device.
Before going to bed, simply slip the screening device onto your finger.
Now start the recording on your phone and go to sleep.
The screening device is very small and comfortable so you should barely notice it.
When you wake up in the morning your recording will be complete.
You can now securely upload the recording for us to provide a full analysis to give you an idea of your risk of having obstructive sleep apnoea.
SmartCare are transforming the healthcare system through three key principles.
Many medical conditions are currently diagnosed in the clinic. This usually means going to the hospital and getting wired up with many uncomfortable devices in a foreign environment.
We don't believe that this is in the best interest of the patient or the healthcare system. By moving screening and diagnosis from the clinic into the home we can make the patient more comfortable and save money for the healthcare providers while providing a more accurate result.
Most healthcare providers collect and store your data and you have little control over how it is used or who has access to it. Often you cannot easily get access to your own data.
With SmartCare, you own your data. It is a record of your health so we believe that you should control who has access to it. You can choose to share it with your healthcare provider or family or friends to help you manage your condition.
Sleep apnoea, like many conditions, is not a one-off ailment. However, the severity can change over time and can be dependent on short-term lifestyle factors. Additionally if treated it can be very reassuring to see the effect of the treatment.
For these reasons, we believe that long-term monitoring is critical and we provide a range of ways that you can monitor changes in your condition over time so you can see the effect of your treatment or lifestyle.