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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on August 8th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: August 8, 2017

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.

CULTURE WATCH

"How to get your kids back on their school-year sleep schedule"
ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
August 1, 2017

From the article: "Dr. Anthony Sabatino, chief medical officer and regional vice president for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, offers the following six tips to help establish a new sleep pattern and make sure they don’t start the school year off on the wrong side of the bed."

Takeaway:  Good information to share with your pediatric populations (and their parents) as well as your adult population, if the topic  of "back to school" comes up in conversation. 

INDUSTRY WATCH

"Topeka doctor remembered for his concern for patients"
WIBW
August 1, 2017 

From the article: "Friends and colleagues say a Topeka doctor killed in a Monday night plane crash made everyone feel like family. …Leeds, 61, and James Kevin Bergman, 55, of Leawood were killed Monday night when a small plane crashed near Billard Airport. 'He was an amazing man with a tremendous heart for people,' said Hope Biggs, the operations manager for Pulmonary & Sleep Associates, the Topeka clinic founded by Dr. William Leeds in 1998."

Takeaway: Leeds was a strong proponent of broadening access to care for rural patients. He will be missed. A candlelight vigil is set for Leeds this coming Wednesday in at Willow Park in Topeka, KS, just north of St. Francis Hospital, at 6pm.

TREND WATCH

"Are you an insomniac? This AI can monitor your sleep patterns using non-intrusive radio waves"
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES
August 7, 2017

From the article:Newly developed AI promises to help monitor sleep cycles without wires, in patients' homes. 

Takeaway: Patient-controlled sleep tracking and data collection continues to trend.

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

"Open-source Morpheo Platform to Use Artificial Intelligence to Help Diagnose Sleep Disorders"
SLEEP REVIEW
August 7, 2017

From the article: “A collaborative project, Morpheo brings patients, medical doctors, sleep experts, academic researchers, data scientists, web developers, and cryptologists together to aggregate and organize sleep data on an unprecedented scale. ”

Takeaway: We know from the Wisconsin Nurses Study and other longitudinal studies gathering a wide swath of data how much this can benefit sleep research. Looks like Morpheo is aiming to take this data collection effort to the next level. 

PHARMA WATCH

"Give Your Drugs a Checkup: Reviewing Your Medication List Can Prevent Errors"
CONSUMER REPORTS
August 3, 2017

From the article: “For insight on how easy it is to talk with pharmacists about your drugs and to see how well they caught potentially dangerous interactions, we sent 10 secret shoppers to 45 pharmacies across the U.S. and had them ask about a list of drugs they were 'taking.' …They included three prescription drugs (the blood-pressure medication hydrochlorothiazide, the blood thinner Coumadin, and the sleeping pill Ambien) and two OTC drugs (baby aspirin and Aleve PM, a combination pain pill and sleep aid).”

Takeaway: You are probably already doing a prescription review and update with your patient intake, but this might be useful to discuss with patients who have lists of medications that run a couple of pages. No, we can't advise on medications, but we can raise awareness that multiple medications may contribute to excessive daytime sleepiness or insomnia (or both), and patients gain from being made aware of their risks. Most patients don't realize they can visit a pharmacist and have their drug lists evaluated for potential interactions or side effects related to sleep health, besides.

HEALTH LITERACY WATCH

"Management of Insomnia Disorder"
AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY
August 4, 2017

From the website: "Management of Insomnia Disorder in Adults: Current State of the Evidence, a new clinician summary from AHRQ's Effective Healthcare Program, highlights findings from an AHRQ-funded evidence review that showed cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective and safe as a treatment for insomnia."

Takeaway: Definitions and understanding of insomnia can be moving targets. Here are some updated patient publications that can be downloaded and used to educate those struggling with sleeplessness.

LEGISLATION WATCH

"FMCSA Takes a Step Closer to Removing Exemption Requirement for Diabetic Drivers"
TRANSPORT TOPICS
AUGUST 7, 2017

From the report: “While doctors say many diabetics do a good job keeping their disease in check, an insulin-dependent diabetic can potentially experience double or blurry vision, tiredness of weakness, unclear thinking, shaking or trembling, fainting, seizures or comas—putting them at risk for crashes. …And when left untreated, the disease can, in the long term, lead to strokes, heart attacks, kidney failures, sleep apnea and eye disease.”

Takeaway: This regulation effort would have had some influence over truckers with diabetes comorbid to sleep apnea. Yet, our transportation leadership is reducing these exemptions in spite of the growing need for them. I hope the prevailing Big Data entities out there measuring the statistics of drowsy driving are hard at work so they can show proof that, if we stop screening these drivers for health risks like diabetes and sleep apnea, our highways, citizens' lives, and property both private and public are at risk.

NOTE: Keep an eye out for your week's worth of sleep tech news on Tuesdays: While You Were Sleeping is moving to Tuesday mornings. 


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.


The 2017 Fall Course, Current Technology Trends in Sleep Medicine, will be held at the Louisville Marriott East in Louisville, KY, from October 13 - 14, 2017. Will you be there?

2017 Fall Course