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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on January 16th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: January 16, 2017 

Sleep Technologist Advice


While You Were Sleeping: What Sleep Technologists Need to Know This Week

Your media watchdog for headlines and trends relevant to sleep technology and patient education.


Communicating with Older Adults: Recognizing Hidden Traps in Health Care Decision Making
January 13, 2017

From the website: “This publication is intended for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, and other health care practitioners who seek to have the best possible interactions with older patients. Understanding the various heuristics and biases that affect our thinking can lead to more informed and productive decisions.

Takeaway: This free download, discussing the ways in which older patients make healthcare decisions, could be very useful to sleep technologists, who work regularly with this population. The healthcare blog, Neurologica, calls the report a “well written excellent summary of common cognitive biases with a thorough list of references.” 


In case you missed it: The annual Sleep Review Side-By-Side Comparison Guides
December 2016/JANUARY 2017

Takeaway: Here are eight annual comparison guides that lab managers and sleep technologists can use to make decisions about equipment purchases.


Tonsillectomy for Sleep Apnea as First-Line Treatment in Adults
December 13, 2017

From the blog post: “We are in the midst of a major change in rethinking sleep apnea surgery–for all parties involved.  The goal is developing a tailored approach to sleep apnea treatment with an approach that is often called personalized medicine.”

Takeaway: Granted, this is a post written by a sleep apnea surgeon (Dr. Eric J. Kezirian, MD, MPH), but if patient demand is up for surgery over some other treatment (such as PAP therapy or oral devices), then that may be where the attention goes, given the 21st century trend toward patient-centered care.


2017: The year of sleep technology?
January 7, 2017

From the article: “2017 looks set to be a landmark year for sleep tech. For the first time, CES, the world’s biggest consumer electronics show has featured an exhibition area exclusively to sleep technology. … In collaboration with the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), CES is showcasing the latest hi-tech sleep gadgets, including a bed that stops you snoring, an app-controlled cooling mattress topper and plenty more.”

Takeaway: Sleep Junkies went to the CES so we wouldn’t have to and put together this overview of consumer-friendly sleep technology devices… with the caveat that collecting data about sleep isn’t necessarily going to make anybody sleep any better any time soon.


RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. Announces Positive Results from Phase 2B PACE Study Conducted by the University of Illinois Dronabinol Reduces Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
December 23, 2017

From the article: “The PACE trial, a Phase 2B study of dronabinol for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), clearly demonstrates that dronabinol significantly improves the primary outcome measures of Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI), daytime sleepiness as measured by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and overall patient satisfaction as measured by the Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medications (TSQM).”

Takeaway: Sleep technologists should be aware that this substance—made from components derived from marijuana—may someday be used legally as a treatment option for OSA: dronabinol.


Do we really need smart sleep technology?
January 11, 2017

From the commentary: “ ’People didn't realize how little they were sleeping, and it wasn't until it was in front of them and aggregated that they realized, ’ said Laura Pugliese, deputy director of innovation research at the New York-based Healthcare Innovation & Technology Lab and one of the study's authors. … Even so, Pugliese agreed that there's slim science behind much of the consumer sleep technology on the market. ’There's not as much evidence of how they can really benefit people or if they can really benefit people," she said.’ ”

Takeaway: Personal technology (apps, furniture, wearables, and other household products) have exploded in the consumer technology world, but this commentary poses nagging questions not only about how and whether they work, but if what they measure is even useful to the ordinary person or the sleep specialist.

Maybe more money and time should be invested in other avenues of sleep health, such as treatments for circadian rhythm disorders, better and safer pharmaceuticals, and the promotion of improved overall sleep hygiene and habits. 


Statement from United States Senator Charles E. Schumer (NY)
January 8, 2017

From the statement: “Amidst yet another derailment, critical safety standards still off track [and] stuck in bureaucracy; not a single sleep apnea test has been performed by LIRR* [and] inward cams not installed across-the-board; more questions than answers demand swift Fed action that once [and] for all ushers in culture of safety on the rails.”

*LIRR = Long Island Rail Road

Takeaway: If you are looking for a sleep activism project to work on this year, this one’s hot and they need help.

BIO:  Tamara Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the sleep health information clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health news headlines daily. She is also Web Consultant for the American Sleep Apnea Association, writes MS-related columns for two medical publishers, and contributes as a freelance writer to AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz, and other places.

Take advantage of the free downloads available on the AAST website!  Click here or on the image below to get a free copy of the updated AAST Terms and Definitions!


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