Relinquishing control of crucial diagnostics has never been a favored practice of clinicians. Instead, dedicated sleep technologists prefer to monitor physiological variables while administering a gold standard polysomnography.
But many veterans in the sleep world know that labs are not right for everyone. Demand is increasing, and some patients simply have no interest in spending the night in a laboratory—whether it’s comfortable or not. The Sleep Center is an environment where little is left to chance. There is no doubt that some people do better with the additional care they get in the lab. In the lab, patients get the one-on-one attention that ensures everything is being properly recorded. Physicians know what their patients need and want, and being in a lab patients get that additional education.
However, with the number of patients out there, a new study from researchers with the Health Technology and Policy Unit at the University of Alberta, which conducts health technology assessments for Alberta Health believe that home sleep testing could be a valuable screening modality.
This study has data to back it up. Researchers followed up in-laboratory validation studies of level III portable monitoring. The study “Diagnostic accuracy of level 3 portable sleep tests versus level 1 polysomnography for sleep-disordered breathing: a systematic review and meta-analysis” published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal compared findings from home study with in-laboratory polysomnography for screening of obstructive sleep apnea. Portable devices used at home offer similar levels of diagnostic accuracy to sleep laboratory testing for diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea. This finding is based on a systematic review of 59 studies involving 5026 patients. Portable devices are safe and convenient to confirm obstructive sleep apnea in patients with a high likelihood of the condition.
Source: Canadian Medical Association