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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on May 8th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: May 8, 2018

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

 sleeping water buffalo


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


 

ADVOCATE WATCH

AMA resolution and AASM advocacy defend the sleep profession
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE
May 2, 2018

From the website: “The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has begun a new nationwide initiative to defend the scope of practice of physicians and advanced care providers who manage patients with obstructive sleep apnea from encroachment by dentists and other practitioners, who are not trained or qualified to diagnose a medical disease.”

Takeaway: The forces that would rein in the career opportunities for sleep technologists are also seeking to expand the sleep physician's scope of practice, potentially making these specialists unnecessary as well. 

CULTURE WATCH

Researchers Get Closer to Real Life Biomarker to Differentiate Hypersomnias
SLEEP REVIEW
April 27, 2018 

From the article: “Narcolepsy type 1 is distinct from other hypersomnias in several ways. People diagnosed with it must have sleepiness and either objectively low levels of the hypothalamic neuropeptide orexin (also known as hypocretin) or cataplexy and a positive multiple sleep latency test. …While that sounds straightforward, in practice the differential diagnosis is frequently murky. There are no commercial labs currently offering direct orexin testing, says neurologist and sleep medicine specialist Brynn Dredla, MD, so that assay is not an option.

Takeaway: The STREAM biomarker may be the next best solution to this diagnostic problem. 

INDUSTRY WATCH

Industry Voices—Embracing the changing landscape of medicine
FIERCE HEALTHCARE
May 2, 2018

From the commentary: “Telemedicine for sleep disorders is an ideal pairing, as many patient visits can be conducted by utilizing a secure system, without sacrificing quality of care.
Recognizing that telemedicine can expand patient access to quality sleep health care, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has developed and launched a telemedicine system to encourage more sleep physicians to offer video visits. The system was the first telemedicine platform to be custom-designed and built by a medical society.
”—Dr. Seema Khosla, medical director, North Dakota Center for Sleep (Fargo)

Takeaway: Feel free to share your story in comments below if telemedicine has made its way to your clinic in some fashion. Many sleep technologists are still untouched and inexperienced in this extension of the sleep lab environment.

TREND WATCH

Raise your voice—patients & family members: share your experience 
AMERICAN SLEEP APNEA ASSOCIATION
April 15, 2018

From the website: “Shed light on what it’s like to live with sleep apnea so researchers, regulators, and life science companies better understand your needs.”

Takeaway: Patient-centered healthcare is giving rise to empowered patients who are collectively joining forces to participate in and influence decision making among researchers, regulators, and caregivers. Sleep-disordered patients are an especially energized group as the system for them can be greatly disconnected. As sleep techs, we should always aim to be that bridge they need to achieve success with therapy.

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

CleveMed Obtains a Patent for Biometric Verification During Home Sleep Studies
CLEVEMED
April 1, 2018

From the press release: “CleveMed, a leader in Home Sleep Testing equipment and cloud-based services, announced today that it was issued a patent (U.S. Patent No. 8,679,012) from the United States Patent Office for an application covering a technology for verifying a subject’s identity while conducting a home sleep test for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This method of patient identification ensures that the patient who was prescribed the test is indeed the patient who took the test.

Takeaway: Nope, patients will no longer be able to make their dogs use their CPAP anymore to prove adherence. (Only slightly joking here.)

PHARMA WATCH

Avadel Launches Nasal Spray for Nocturia Due to Nocturnal Polyuria
SLEEP REVIEW
May 1, 2018

From the article: “Avadel Pharmaceuticals plc today announced the launch of NOCTIVA (desmopressin acetate), an emulsified microdose nasal spray. NOCTIVA was FDA approved in 2017 as a treatment proven to help adults with nocturia due to nocturnal polyuria, a condition which causes the kidneys to overproduce urine at night and prevents people from getting a good night’s sleep.” 

Takeaway: If you have patients who suffer from this sleep-disrupting problem, you can always let them know this product exists. Even if we can't diagnose or treat patients, we can certainly educate them on their options.  

HEALTH LITERACY WATCH

Is Snoring Genetic?
SLEEP.org
May 3, 2018

From the website:  “We know that curly hair and height run in the family, but is the tendency to snore inherited as well? When it comes to the type of snoring that is related to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the answer may be yes: There is a genetic connection. Here are some of the inheritable traits that contribute to OSA-related snoring.” 

Takeaway: If patients discover that the snoring their bed partners complain about isn't necessarily a personal shortcoming but an inherited ("not my fault") problem, they might be more empowered to do something about it. Just a thought.

POLICY WATCH

Study focuses on impacts of 12-hour shifts on nurses
WSU INSIDER
May 1, 2018

From the article: “A researcher at the Washington State University College of Nursing will lead a $1 million, federally-funded study on nurses’ work shifts that could influence policy nationally.
Lois James, PhD, and a team from the College of Nursing, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, and the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center plan to pursue three lines of inquiry in the study:

  • Whether working consecutive 12-hour shifts impairs patient-care skills or increases fatigue and sleepiness among nurses;
  • Whether nurses working consecutive 12-hour night shifts are more impaired by fatigue than nurses working day shifts; and
  • Whether working 12-hour night shifts puts nurses at greater risk during their drive home than working the same length day shift.

Takeaway: Food for thought, given the nature of work in sleep technology. 


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.