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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on October 16th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: October 16, 2018

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

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



The AASM Foundation Disaster Relief Fund
October 15, 2018 

From the website: “If your sleep center has recently been affected by natural disasters and you are in need of financial assistance, please complete and submit the Disaster Relief Fund application for consideration of funding.

Takeaway: Offer is limited to AASM accredited sleep centers.


New Survey Identifies the Need For Increased Education and Treatment Options for Narcolepsy
October 10, 2018 

From the website: “The Know Narcolepsy survey, conducted by Versta Research among a total of 1,654 respondents on behalf of Harmony Biosciences LLC, in collaboration with Narcolepsy Network, highlighted that narcolepsy is life-changing for the majority (86%) of those surveyed living with the disorder. However, 78% of the general public surveyed agreed they have no idea what it must be like to live with narcolepsy.

Takeaway: All sleep techs should be fairly versed in the challenges of living with narcolepsy as well as trained in how to spot potential signs and in the performance of the MSLT. 


Sleep Providers Told to Hunt Down, Refund Overpayments
October 4, 2018

From the article: “Two months after the HHS OIG released a report claiming that most sleep resupply claims don’t comply with Medicare requirements, Medicare contractors are beginning to ask some sleep providers to review claims going back over six years.

Takeaway: Heads up; day staff might be kept additionally busy with these new demands from CMS. 


Upscale pajamas, luxury bedding, spooning robots: how sleep became commodified
October 9, 2018

From the article: “Like a true luxury category, the agenda of the sleep economy is to sell things you never knew you needed. And a key component in why shoppers are spending, a report from CB Insights notes, is because sleep is now 'hailed as a new frontier for holistic wellness.' ...'The consumer’s definition of living healthy has expanded,' Joe Derochowski, a home industry analyst with the NPD Group, tells Vox. 'Years ago, consumers would say to be healthy, they need to eat more fruits [and] vegetables, exercise more, and eat less processed foods. Today, they expand beyond exercise and eating to add sleep.'”

Takeaway: This is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that patients are starting to pay more attention to their sleep health. The bad news is that commodification of sleep can potentially make the products we need for sleep more expensive (at least initially) which shuts out people from lower income brackets who might not need these products as a luxury item but as an actual necessity. It can also lead to people believing they need high-end sleep products that make no difference to their quality and quantity of sleep.


SleepScore Lab’s Non-Contact, No Hardware Sleep Monitoring System: Product Review and Interview with CEO
October 5, 2018

From the review:  “It has been less than a year since Medgadget tried out SleepScore Lab’s SleepScore Max, the company’s second generation of sleep monitoring devices, following the S+ system. Today, we’re onto their third offering: the SleepScore App. While both S+ and SleepScore Max systems paired hardware and software in a combined offering, the latest release from SleepScore Labs is an app-only product that does not require the use of any hardware peripherals to monitor a user’s sleep.” 

Takeaway: This is an interesting investigation into the evolution of a developing sleep health technology product.


New HETLIOZ Patent Listed in the FDA Orange Book
October 10, 2018

From the article: “The ‘977 patent was issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on September 11, 2018 and expires in February 2035.” 

Takeaway: Short article, but pop quiz: What is Hetlioz (generic name, tasimelteon) used for? 


Smartphone Applications to Support Sleep Self-Management: Review and Evaluation
October 15, 2018

From the research study: “Mobile health (mHealth) tools such as smartphone applications (apps) have potential to support sleep self-management. The objective of this review was to identify the status of available consumer mHealth apps targeted toward supporting sleep self-management and assess their functionalities.”

Takeaway: We can be more reliable sources of information for our patients regarding these new sleep health apps, but only if we are one step ahead of them and know what these apps offer or promise (and whether they are likely to deliver). 


AINsight: Special Issuance for Sleep Apnea
October 11, 2018

From the commentary: “In the first year or so after the sleep apnea screening discussions became mandatory, I had many pilots state that they felt somewhat blindsided. They had dutifully filled out the FAA 8500-8 questionnaire via the MedXpress online program, and nowhere on that form did it ask about sleep apnea. … Yet, at the time of exam, suddenly the AME is asking questions about a medical condition that the FAA didn’t require comments about from the pilot when filling out the exam form itself.

Takeaway: Here are some interesting first-hand insights into sleep apnea screening among pilots and how the system does and doesn't work since regulations were made in 2015. 

BIO:  Tamara Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the sleep health information clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health news headlines daily. She is also an independent sleep health journalist, writes MS-related columns for two medical publishers, and contributes as a freelance writer to AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz. She can be reached at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com.