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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on April 10th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: April 10, 2018

Sleep Technologist Advice

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


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



Insulin Affordability Action: All Across the USA and Growing Stronger
April 4, 2018

From the article: “You might say the advocacy and action aimed at Insulin Affordability is catching on like wildfire, as more grassroots efforts spring up across the USA.
Just take a look at some of these most recent examples.”

Takeaway:  Maybe a grassroots effort to put more affordable CPAP therapy in the hands of those who need it can be modeled (like the CCSH, or "clinical sleep educator," program) on these same efforts being my diabetes coalitions everywhere. One of the biggest challenges with CPAP is making it affordable. Insurance companies are hit and miss when it comes to coverage. Prices are high not only for the equipment but for the accessories and parts that require replenishment. It's no wonder many  people are driven to so-called "black market" (unregulated) sources for their DME, which is unfortunate as they assume many risks in doing so, not the least of which is their own health.  


Stanford Children’s Health CMIO on utilizing tech in a pediatric setting
April 5, 2018 

From the website: “Implementing the right technology at a hospital or health system is challenging in and of itself. But what about when it’s a children’s hospital? …In a phone interview, Stanford Children’s Health Chief Medical Information Officer Natalie Pageler described how her organization approaches tech and patient care.

Takeaway: There are some interesting solutions to the problems of caring for children with sleep disorders here.


ResMed is disrupting connected health: Here’s how
April 3, 2018

From the website: “Although data collection alone would make ResMed a stand-out organization, there are tricky issues at play when it comes to gaining access to that data. That’s where user-focused design comes into play.  …According to designers specializing in patient behavior, the key to user adoption of connected devices is really not to give them an option. Bill Evans — founder and former innovation SVP at Bridge Design, a Ximedica company — noted that every moment a device maker puts a barrier in front of a patient presents a risk that the patient will abandon the device.

Takeaway: This overview of patient compliance efforts by ResMed provides a good history of changes to sleep technology from the DME standpoint over the last decade or so.


The New Sleep Trend Is Trying To Literally Sleep Like A Baby
April 4, 2018

From the article: “'Sure, using a bottle is a pretty literal way to 'sleep like a baby.' But, at the end of the day, is a nightly routine that includes essential oils and blue light blockers, or strategically timed daily naps — all of which are increasingly in vogue for adults — that much different than some of the strategies parents use to sleep-train babies? …If maximizing sleep is in, why don't we just submit to the fact that many of us are essentially sleep-training ourselves?”

Takeaway: I suppose that, ultimately, it's not how you achieve sleep as much as it is actually achieving sleep. But it does make one wonder about the unintended consequences of going to bed with a baby bottle infused with some sort of sleep-promoting agent. 


How close are we to video-recording our dreams?
April 5, 2018

From the article: “Daniel Oldis, an independent dream researcher and author of 'The Lucid Dream Manifesto,"'is working with David M. Schnyer at the University of Texas at Austin to record the movement and speech in our dreams. Schnyer runs the university's Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, which uses an electromyogram, or EMG, to measure nerve impulses to muscles while subjects sleep.

Takeaway: What do you think? Is this a good direction for sleep medicine? Will it serve a legitimate function for patients?


Expensive prescriptions have patients skipping their meds. What can doctors do about ?
April 3, 2018

From the article: “Even as the Affordable Care Act has made great strides in improving the insurance coverage gap in the U.S., more and more patients are now covered by high-deductible plans, leading to higher out-of-pocket costs.” 

Takeaway: This is true not only for pharmaceutical prescriptions but for DME. The question is, will doctors and insurance payers ever get together to make the best decisions (from an economic perspective) for patients in need? 


Can mHealth Wearables Help Patients Talk to Their Docs About Sleep?
March 29, 2018

From the commentary:  “More recent studies are incorporating consumer-facing wearables, with the goal of pulling the patient’s primary care provider into the conversation and giving those patients an opportunity to collaborate with their regular doctor, rather than a specialist. A recent Pew Research survey indicates two out of every three Americans are already tracking health data through devices or apps.” 

Takeaway: Maybe patients will be able to communicate their needs and concerns better after using sleep-tracking wearables. But if they are taking this information to their primary care physicians—who historically aren't trained in sleep medicine beyond the very basics—how likely will there be a meaningful conversation between the two?


Chesapeake Regional Healthcare notifies 2,100 sleep center patients of medical record breach
April 7, 2018

From the article: “Two portable hard drives were reported missing from the hospital’s sleep center on Feb. 6, which prompted contacting law enforcement, according to a Friday news release from the hospital.

Takeaway: Ugh, let's hope this never happens at your sleep clinic.

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.