Devices for home detection of obstructive sleep apnea: A review

Sleep Med Rev. 2018 Oct;41:149-160. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2018.02.004. Epub 2018 Feb 17.


One of the most common sleep-related disorders is obstructive sleep apnea, characterized by a reduction of airflow while breathing during sleep and cause significant health problems. This disorder is mainly diagnosed in sleep labs with polysomnography, involving high costs and stress for the patient. To address this situation multiple systems have been proposed to conduct the examination and analysis in the patient's home, using sensors to detect physiological signals that are examined by algorithms. The objective of this research is to review publications that show the performance of different devices for ambulatory diagnosis of sleep apnea. Commercial systems that were examined by an independent research group and validated research projects were selected. In total 117 articles were analysed, including a total of 50 commercial devices. Each article was evaluated according to diagnostic elements, level of automatisation implemented and the deducted level of evidence and quality rating. Each device was categorized using the SCOPER categorization system, including an additional proposed category, and a final comparison was performed to determine the sensors that provided the best results.

Keywords: Home detection; Monitoring devices; Sleep apnea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Oximetry / instrumentation
  • Oximetry / methods*
  • Polysomnography / economics
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis*