Purpose: Home-polysomnography (HPSG) has been proposed as a cost-effective alternative for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) diagnosis. We assessed, in a feasibility study, whether telematic transmission using the Dream® and Sleepbox® technologies was associated with low HPSG failure rate.
Methods: Patients referred by chest physicians for clinical suspicion of OSA underwent one HPSG, using Dream® and Sleepbox® (Medatec, Belgium), which is a wireless system able to communicate with Dream®, and with Internet through a wi-fi/3G interface. It is equipped with a digital infrared camera, and with a speaker/microphone system for bidirectional audio/video communication via Skype®. The Sleep Lab nurse performed a remote discontinuous monitoring of the PSG. In case of sensor loss, she called the patient who had been previously educated to replace the sensors.
Results: Twenty-one patients have been studied. 90% of the recordings were of excellent quality. We observed a 10% PSG failure rate: one failure of the Dream®, and one recording of poor quality. There were 2 successful Skype® interventions resulting in readjustment of the defective probes (nasal cannula and EEG). PSG signal visualization was possible in 90% of cases but Skype® connection was problematic in 19% of cases. However, patients could be reached by phone to solve the problem.
Conclusions: Real-time attended HPSG through telematic data transmission is feasible and could be an interesting perspective to decrease the failure rate of home sleep studies, even if some technical aspects need to be improved.
Keywords: Diagnosis; Home sleep studies; Obstructive sleep apnea; Polysomnography; Telemedicine; Telemonitoring.
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