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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on March 20th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: March 20, 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

"'Pink Noise' May Improve Sleep and Memory in Older Adults
SMITHSONIAN
March 10, 2017

From the website:Pink noise is similar to white noise, but while white noise is one continuous sound, pink noise includes high and low frequencies.

Takeaway: Maybe it's time for the lab to swap out the white noise for the pink noise machines?

INDUSTRY WATCH

"Guidelines Issued on Diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea"
NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE JOURNAL WATCH
March 16, 2017 

From the article:The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has issued guidelines on diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults.

Takeaway: Sleep technologists might be relieved to find a new leaning toward more in-lab polysomnography versus home testing, which is based on the AASM's task force findings that indicate HSATs in certain patient populations have less valid application in achieving better outcomes.

TREND WATCH

"SCOPE Institute Launches to Educate Dentists in Sleep Apnea and Craniofacial Pain Treatment"
BENZINGA
March 17, 2017

From the website:SCOPE (Sleep-Apnea & Craniofacial Pain Education) Institute launched this year, with the mission 'to advance the education and implementation of sleep apnea, TMJ, and orofacial pain treatment within dentistry for the sake of alleviating these disorders within the population worldwide.'

Takeaway: For people who don't tolerate CPAP because of physiological problems, these dental-based surgical procedures are more appealing. As more specialists begin to offer this option via dental sleep medicine, which is already making progress in the arena of oral appliance therapies for OSA, it could have an impact on the demand for PAP therapy. 

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

"WatchPAT Home Sleep Testing Devices Now Available with Somnoware"
SLEEP REVIEW
March 9, 2017

From the website: “From Suresh Kodoor, assistant vice president of engineering: 'With our cloud-based platform, physicians can review sleep study reports, PSG charts, and therapy adherence at any time—even during their one-on-one patient visits.' ... Sleep centers can automate their complete workflow including scheduling at multiple centers, inventory management, automated reporting, therapy ordering, and American Academy of Sleep Medicine accreditation. 

Takeaway: Anything to make the workflow for sleep technologists more streamlined sounds good to me. 

PHARMA WATCH

"Form of Date-Rape Drug Effectively Treats Narcolepsy?!"
PATIENT WORTHY
March 14, 2017

From the website: “What most people don’t know, is that a type of Gamma-hydroxybutyrate, sodium oxybate, is also an FDA-approved treatment (Xyrem) in prescription form to help manage narcolepsy symptoms.”

Takeaway: This is confusing... now people think the so-called date-rate drug known as GHB (common street names include G, Liquid X, or Cherry Meth) is being used to treat narcolepsy, which isn't true. Sodium oxybate (prescribed as Xyrem) is actually a sodium salt derivative of GHB which is used to treat cataplexy in people with narcolepsy.

HEALTH LITERACY WATCH

"Another Replication Crisis? Yawn."
SLATE
March 2, 2017

From the website: “Aristotle believed it. Scientists proved it. A new study hints that decades’ worth of research on contagious yawning might be bogus.”

Takeaway: Here's a fun fact about something we all thought we understood about sleep which has now been debunked.

LEGISLATION WATCH

"High–risk pools addressed in ACA replacement debate"
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE
March 17, 2017

From the website: "High-risk pools are not a new concept; the first high-risk pools were launched in Minnesota and Connecticut in 1976 to serve high-cost patients who could not otherwise obtain insurance. In the pre-Affordable Care Act (ACA) era, states commonly created high-risk pools because insurers were able to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or charge them prohibitively high premiums. Sleep apnea was one of the conditions listed as a ‘pre-existing’ condition, which allowed insurers to raise premium rates.."

Takeaway: It's important to stay on top of federal changes to healthcare coverage, as they could have a stunning impact on the majority of our patients and could influence how many of them are referred for sleep disorders in the future.


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.


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