Oral Appliances: Study Says Micro Technology Can Ease Compliance Concerns

As oral appliance (OA) therapy gains ground as a viable sleep apnea solution, compliance concerns are being addressed by micro technology. But does that technology actually work?

A study published in the journal Thorax points toward the affirmative, with results indicating “the safety and feasibility of objective measurement of OA compliance.”

While OA therapy is reported to be efficacious for the treatment of SDB, data on compliance is usually limited to self-report. In the 3-month prospective clinical trial published in Thorax, researchers assessed the safety and feasibility of an objective measurement of compliance during OA therapy using an embedded micro sensor thermometer with “on-chip integrated readout electronics in 51 consecutive patients with an established diagnosis of sleep disordered breathing.”

No micro sensor-related adverse events were recorded, and no problems were encountered during the readout of the compliance data. The overall objective mean rate of OA use was 6.6±1.3 h per day with a regular OA users’ rate of 82% at the 3-month follow-up. Statistical analysis revealed no significant differences between objective and self-reported OA compliance data.

Measurement of the objective OA compliance allowed researchers to calculate the mean disease alleviation (MDA) as the product of objective compliance and therapeutic efficacy. MDA serves as a measure of the overall therapeutic effectiveness, and turned out to be 51.1%.

Researchers concluded: “Our findings suggest that objective measurement of OA compliance during SDB treatment is safe and feasible.” Click here for the full study.

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