This Week in Sleep Medicine: July 25, 2018
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.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace: Butler County couple wants to ensure no kids sleep on the floor
From the news video:
July 23, 2018
Takeaway: This seems like an easy sleep-related community project for sleep techs to participate in.
Are individuals with sleep apnea less healthy than the general population?
MEDICAL NEWS BULLETIN
July 15, 2018
From the article: “The researchers noted some limitations in their study. First, the selection of participants was challenging, and varied over time, leading to a potential sampling bias. Second, the measurement of sleep apnea during the sleep study was not consistent across the patients, with more than 80% of the sleep studies measured using a method which may underestimate sleep apnea.”
Takeaway: This could really be a chicken-or-egg scenario. If people don't read all the way to the end of this article, they'll miss the part where sampling bias may be a problem with the outcomes of this research. Connecting the dots between sleep apnea and overall health is good, but let's make sure that we understand which came first; otherwise, people who are healthy, who are treating sleep apnea caused by something like a maxillofacial concern (and not obesity), may become stigmatized all the same.
2018 Exciting Update: Advancing Novel Treatment Options for Narcolepsy
July 12, 2018
A Pilot Study of Impulse Radio Ultra Wideband Radar Technology as a New Tool for Sleep Assessment
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL SLEEP MEDICINE
July 15, 2018
From the study: “In all, 12 participants were recruited and their overnight sleep was assessed both by a Novelda XeThru radar and PSG. Two subjects had two nightly recordings, whereas 10 had one recording. Epoch by epoch (30 seconds) comparisons from bedtime to rise time were conducted. Concordance was estimated in terms of the mean difference between the radar and the PSG estimates regarding sleep onset latency, wake time after sleep onset and total sleep time. In addition, accuracy, sensitivity, specificity and Cohen kappa were calculated.”Takeaway: This potential sleep disorder assessment technology is nowhere ready for primetime but it shows promise as an easier, cheaper way to gather data for sleep studies.
From the press release: “Under its policy, Aetna considers Inspire’s U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved hypoglossal nerve neurostimulation device to be medically necessary for the treatment of moderate to severe OSA when a number of criteria are met. These include a previous attempt at continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment and patient selection consistent with FDA approval guidelines.”
Takeaway: Good news for sleep apnea patients who qualify. Has Inspire become a part of your sleep center's therapies for sleep apnea? Let us know in comments.
In the Pipeline-Obstructive Sleep Apnea: An Anti-Inflammatory MS Drug Shows Promise for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
July 19, 2018
From the article: “A randomized placebo-controlled trial found that four months of treatment with dimethyl fumarate, an immunomodulatory agent commonly used to treat multiple sclerosis, had a significant treatment effect on obstructive sleep apnea severity compared to placebo.”
Takeaway: [editorial anecdote alert] As a person who actually uses this medication (and have done so for over 5 years) to treat multiple sclerosis, I'm hesitant to suggest it as a treatment because a/it has some pretty awful side effects, b/I was diagnosed with OSA over 4 years after I started, and c/it costs about $70,000 a year. And patients complain about the price of PAP supplies!
HEALTH LITERACY WATCH
From the abstract: “This controlled experiment shows that sham feedback about sleep biases appraisal of daytime symptoms, highlighting a pathway connecting sleep misperception with daytime features of insomnia.”Takeaway: Herein lies one of the key reasons why patients should remain skeptical of wearables used without the assistance of a sleep professional (for interpretation of data). Orthosomnia, or the form of insomnia that occurs as the result of one's anxiety about getting enough sleep, is now a sleep disorder we need to be watching for, thanks to the inaccuracies of current and popular consumer sleep technologies.
Verma: Changes Coming to Stark Self-Referral Law
July 12, 2018
From the article: “The 1989 law, named for former congressman Fortney H. 'Pete' Stark (D-Calif.), 'prohibits a physician from making referrals for certain designated health services payable by Medicare to an entity with which he or she (or an immediate family member) has a financial relationship (ownership, investment, or compensation), unless an exception applies,' CMS notes on its website. …Designated health services include clinical lab services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, radiology, durable medical equipment, home health services, outpatient prescription drugs, and inpatient and outpatient hospital services.”
Takeaway: Let's keep our fingers crossed that these potential changes open up some income stream options for sleep centers that can ultimately contribute to a better continuum of care and better treatment outcomes for patients.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.