The company Medco Health at the Business, Scientific and Technological Park, Espaitec, of the Universitat Jaume I of Castellón, has developed an assistance system based on telemedicine using information and communication technologies, which allows an online daily monitoring of people with sleep apnea-hypopnoea syndrome. The method proposed by the company is particularly focused on patient adherence to treatment as only 30% of patients successfully achieve to adapt to it.
The telemedicine system suggested by the spin-off includes a protocol for monitoring patients with scheduled visits and the online daily monitoring of the CPAP devices, which inform the members of the Sleep-disordered Breathing Unit of Medco on the use of the device by the patient, as well as on leaks, airflow and other parameters taken into account for illness control, which ensures a proper adaptation to treatment. Moreover, they emphasize, "patients will be aware of their treatment control parameters monthly, helping them to make reference in their improvement process with treatment, beyond pure comfort and relaxation that the use of CPAP provides to the quality of life of the person."
It is currently estimated to be 1,200,0000 apnea sufferers in Spain, explain the researchers of the company Medco Health. They state, "of them, only 10% follow the treatment of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), which is the treatment that has proven most effective. This means that there are many patients who are not following any treatment despite the apnea-hypopnoea, among other illnesses of the respiratory system, are an important cardiovascular and high blood pressure risk factor and it would be advisable them to be treated from early stages. Studies in Spain have clearly demonstrated the relationship between not treated sleep apnea-hypopnoea syndrome (OSAS) and an increase in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and road accidents. What is striking, and what justifies our research need is that only between 5 and 10% of people with OSAS have been diagnosed and treated."
From the company of the UJI, they consider that "we are at an early stage in terms of social awareness of this illness and its treatment, a stage at which medical science needs to accumulate accurate data and evidence." "OSAS is the most common disorder at Sleep Units, which constitutes 85% of their activity. It is estimated to be a prevalence of apnea/hypopnoea in 4-6% of men, 2-4% of women and 1-3% of children," they state. Therefore, among the objectives of Medco Health, are educating people on sleep hygiene measures and publicize these disorders, so that patients and families can recognize the symptoms associated with them and so act from primary prevention or an early treatment of the disease.
Data to support the research
On the need for moving forward in data collection and research in this area, Medco Health highlights the usefulness of the daily monitoring system developed, which allows to "create a larger database on which to investigate and make progress in the empty areas that medicine still has in the field of sleep."
Generally, devices for home studies only show the signal of snoring through graphics. With the audio playback function of NOX-T3 device used by the company, sounds are also recorded, thus facilitating the diagnosis and making clear one of the most important parameters in sleep studies, the rates of apnea-hypopnoea of each patient in the study. The NOX-T3 device uses wireless technology and is designed to prevent discomfort and minimize the complexity in its setup.
"The treatment for sleep apnea CPAP has been used for years that show it is efficient, cost effective and minimally invasive," researchers from Medco Health, explain as they note that the novelty of the system developed by the company focuses on monitoring and controlling through new technologies.
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