This Week in Sleep Medicine: March 6, 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.
The Dangers of Drowsy Driving: Laws, Policies, and Education
ALASKA SLEEP EDUCATION CENTER
March 2, 2018
Takeaway: Here's a great collection of drowsy driving statistics and information useful for any sleep tech who may be interested in advocating awareness of the dangers of drowsy driving.
Sleep apnea and hospital readmissions: CPAP adherence matters
February 23, 2018
From the article: “A new study of patients with obstructive sleep apnea suggests that non-adherence to continuous positive airway pressure therapy, or CPAP, is tightly linked with an increase in 30-day hospital readmissions. …The authors reiterated that 30-day readmissions are touted as the key quality indicator for hospitals and a way to reduce healthcare costs.”
Takeaway: The AAST's recent blog from Kristina Weaver regarding Sleep Navigators shines more light on this subject.
Private Payers: Guideline Scorecards
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE
February 18, 2018
From the website: “In light of the paradigm shift from in-center polysomnography and titration to HSAT and APAP, the AASM has been reaching out to private payers to ensure that the board-certified sleep medicine physician (BCSMP) is involved in the testing and management of patients. The AASM firmly believes that patients managed by the BCSMP receive high-quality care.”
Takeaway: This effort could help keep sleep diagnostics and services corralled in actual sleep medicine clinics and centers instead of by way of third parties.
From the article: “It turns out sleep apnea has struck the patriarch of the Conner family in the years since the show last aired on ABC in 1997. Which is not great, but technically a step in the right direction, given that Goodman’s character died from a heart attack in the series finale..”
Takeaway: You may be noticing more use of CPAP showing up in popular culture these days. I've personally seen discussions on Top Chef involving cheftestants who use CPAP; Billy Bob Thornton's character in Goliath uses CPAP begrudgingly (but refused apnea surgery when he learned what that entailed); the bad guy in the most recent installation of the Mad Max series relied on an "evolved" kind of CPAP to stay alive, and I just read a (not-so-great) novel which incorporated CPAP into the storyline. Where have you seen CPAP cropping up in film, television, books or other areas of popular culture?
Like It Or Not, Personal Health Technology Is Getting Smarter
March 5, 2018
From the report: “'The accuracy is getting better,' [ Lukasz Piwek, a data scientist at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom] says. 'Maybe two or three years ago it was more a problematic issue.' The machine learning algorithms are getting better at picking out complex patterns from the noise, he says. …One such algorithm, according to Piwek, may be the Sleep Number's 'smart bed' technology. There are sensors embedded throughout the mattress.
“[According to Pete Bils, Sleep Number's vice president of science and research], 'When your heart beats, your body actually presses on the mattress and we pick that up. When you breathe, your chest moves and we pick that up.'”
Takeaway: It's not far-fetched to imagine a future using artificial intelligence and these kinds of sophisticated sensors to help sleep technologists do their jobs.
BRIEF—Hetlioz effective in jet lag disorder
THE PHARMA LETTER
March 5, 2018
From the report: “Vanda Pharmaceuticals says that Hetlioz (tasimelteon), a circadian regulator, has demonstrated significant and clinically meaningful benefits in night- and daytime symptoms of jet lag disorder. ”
Takeaway: For many business travelers, this use for a drug created originally to address non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder could be a real life saver.
HEALTH LITERACY WATCH
Does Caffeine Really Affect Your Sleep?
March 6, 2018
Julia F. van den Berg, PhD (Leiden University, Department of Clinical Psychology): “The popular belief that caffeine consumption in the evening generally impairs sleep quality seems to have been refuted by our work. Our study showed that only a minority of people suffer from poor sleep as a result of caffeine consumption. And for those people, this effect is present even if they do not consume caffeine after 6PM.”
Takeaway: Sounds like good news for coffee drinkers, but in the face of other research, can this study be replicated?
OPINION: Prior authorization procedure needs more scrutiny
March 1, 2018
Takeaway: This is an interesting development. Putting insurance payers on notice for uninformed denials and delayed authorizations could certainly change the healthcare landscape in a way that makes it better for patients who need care and for the providers that need to give them that care.
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 email@example.com.