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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on October 3rd, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: October 3, 2017

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

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relevant to sleep technology and patient education.


"Patient Story: Drowsy Driving Compelled Ellwyn to Seek Sleep Apnea Treatment"
September 27, 2017 

From the blog:Check out Ellwyn’s story below to see how oral appliance therapy has restored his energy, fun personality, and quality of life.

Takeaway:  Sometimes there's so much focus on noncompliance that we forget that for many people, PAP therapy is a lifesaver. Here's a positive story to share with your patients if you feel they need some convincing about the value of treating their OSA.


"Large-Scale Automated Sleep Staging"
September 26, 2017 

From the research study:The objectives are to investigate the extent to which machine learning methods can approximate the performance of human scorers when supplied with sufficient training cases and to investigate how staging performance depends on the number of training patients, contextual information, model complexity, and imbalance between sleep stage proportions.

Takeaway: The future of sleep scoring may end up being artificial intelligence.


"Three U.S. scientists win Nobel Prize for uncovering inner workings of the biological clock"
October 2, 2017

From the article: “Jeremy Berg, editor-in-chief of Science and former director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, called the laureates’ work 'very elegant and fundamental.' Before their discoveries, he said, 'the nature of the circadian clock was a great mystery. Through genetics and the emerging tools of molecular biology, a very elegant molecular pathway was sorted out involving a feedback loop where a protein controls its own expression.' 

Takeaway: This is an amazing advancement in sleep science and may end up changing what we learn about circadian rhythms as sleep techs. It also marks the continued focus on sleep health in the clinical research sector.


"As Thermal Cameras Shrink in Size and Price, Scientists Look to Turn Them Into Breathing Sensors"
September 26, 2017

From the article: “Researchers have developed software that makes it possible to use low-cost, thermal cameras attached to mobile phones to track how fast a person is breathing. This type of mobile thermal imaging could be used for monitoring breathing problems in elderly people living alone, people suspected of having sleep apnea, or babies at risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Takeaway: If they can get a thermal camera to do the work of our current tools for a lower cost, that seems like a great option. What do you think?


"Third of elderly Americans take sleeping pills amid 'catastrophic' and deadly insomnia epidemic"
September 28, 2017

From the article: “The US National Poll on Healthy Ageing, which spoke to more than 1,000 people aged 65 to 80, found that 14 percent regularly took prescription sleep medication, prescription pain medication and over-the-counter sleep aid or herbal supplements—and 23 percent did so occasionally.

Takeaway: This is probably obvious to those sleep techs among us who work chiefly with elderly patients. It might be time to discuss protocols about documenting sleep aid use in older patients if this isn't top of mind to your lab's physicians. 


"NSC Fatigue Cost Calculator: Real Costs of Fatigue in the Workplace"
September 26, 2017

From the website: “The National Safety Council has teamed with Brigham and Women's Hospital to develop an easy-to-use online tool, where employers can receive a tailored estimate of how much fatigue is costing their bottom line. The calculator will estimate how much of the burden can be avoided with programs implemented in the workplace.

Takeaway: This might be a paradigm-shifting tool if workplaces use it and receive an eye-opening result. If business bottom lines are taking major hits because of sleep-deprived workers, then our workaholic, "I'll sleep when I die" culture may actually fall to common sense.


"The ATS Applauds New Legislation Addressing Sleep Apnea Among Transportation Workers"
SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

From the website: “The American Thoracic Society applauds the efforts of New York Senators Charles Schumer (D) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D) and New Jersey Senators Cory Booker (D) and Bob Menendez (D) for their legislation to improve transportation safety by addressing sleep apnea.


Takeaway: OSA screening will not go down without a fight, and luckily, the sleep medicine community has leadership on the Hill.

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