Using PDA for Sleep Apnea Home Testing

Since today’s generation is the age of technology, even the medical fields use technological innovations in order to be able to diagnose and treat diseases quick and proper. As such, it is common that portable computers and micro cameras in finding out the disease and treat it appropriately. In this article, you will learn the use of portable computers for sleep apnea testing. Before that, let us find out first what sleep apnea is.

What is Sleep Apnea?

sleep-apneaSleep apnea is of the many sleep disorders that commonly happen to a lot of people. This disorder is characterized by instances of infrequent or shallow breathing or sometimes pauses in breathing. Each pause of breathing is called apnea. The pause can last for a few seconds to several minutes. They may happen for at least five to thirty times or more in just an hour. On the other hand, each instance of abnormal shallow breathing is called hypopnea.

Sleep apnea is classified as a dyssomnia which means that it is an abnormal behavior that may be psychological and occurs during sleep. When one is experiencing sleep apnea, each time that the breathing is paused, there is a buildup of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. Then, the chemoreceptors in the bloodstream will take note of the increasing level of carbon dioxide as well as alert the brain. The brain will then send a signal to wake up the person to breathe in air. Normal breathing will then restore the oxygen levels in the bloodstream. The person then will fall asleep again.

Sleep apnea is usually diagnosed by a sleep test called polysomnogram (sleep study). There are 3 kinds of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea – In OSA, the breathing is interrupted due to a physical block in the airway despite the body’s respiratory effort. Snoring often happens in this type of sleep apnea.
  • Central Sleep Apnea – In CSA, the breathing is interrupted by the body’s lack of respiratory effort.
  • Mixed sleep apnea (means combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea)

Whatever the type of sleep apnea they are experiencing, people are often unaware that they are experiencing difficulty in sleeping even after they wake up. Cases of sleep apnea are recognized only by people who have witnessed sleep apnea episodes or after they have recognized the signs and symptoms. The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea may be already be present for years, but are often not recognized because the person has already conditioned themselves to the signs and symptoms—that is daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with the sleep disturbances that they are experiencing. Sleep apnea often happens to adults, but there are cases of children experiencing the same thing.

Sleep apnea may seem a harmless sleep disorder to some people, but it can be disturbing and obstructive since the person experiencing it often suffers from daytime sleepiness, impaired alertness, vision problems as well as fatigue after not having slept well before due to sleep disturbances. What is more alarming is that it (OSA) may even cause road and work-related problems. If left untreated, it can also lead to other health problems such as diabetes and there are also some cases that it results in death due to extreme lack of oxygen in the body.

This means that sleep apnea should not be left untreated. Once it is suspected or if signs and symptoms are present that may mean you or someone has sleep apnea, it should be diagnosed and treated as early. Not doing so can lead to some serious problems like chronic illnesses and malfunctions like diabetes and fatty liver diseases which can result in death.

Home Sleep Apnea Testing Using Portable Computer

pda-sleepDiagnosis of sleep apnea is often done through evaluation of the clinical symptoms and the results of the polysomnography or the formal sleep study. Aside from that, there is also the oximetry which is considered to be an easier alternative to polysomnography as it is performed overnight at the patient’s home instead.

This time, however, there are already some home testing methods that can be used to diagnose whether someone has sleep apnea or not. These days, home testing is preferred as it offers more comfort, convenience and affordability compared to other methods of testing for sleep apnea. Due to some important technological innovations available for the medical field, specifically in CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines, CPAP therapies can now be initiated even without any formal in-lab CPAP titration.

This method is now preferred as it isn’t disruptive to the patient as it allows the testing to be done conveniently at the patient’s home. Sleep apnea home testing is done through the use of audio device like an mp3 player which will record the sleep sounds and a computer monitoring device which will measure the heart rate, saturation of oxygen as well as analyze the patient’s breathing pattern all through the night.

When using a portable computer in sleep apnea testing, usually it will be attached to a belt that is worn around the chest. The computer will have a pulse oximeter with it which is worn on the finger as well as a nasal cannula in the nose. Sleep apnea home testing is typically done over two consecutive nights. Once the testing is done, the data of the test will be downloaded, analyzed and interpreted by a certified sleep physician.

Apart from computer monitors, you can also use your Smartphone and some audio gadgets to record and analyze your sleep. After which, you can just contact a certified sleep doctor to interpret the results of your test. There are many Smartphone apps that you can use to track your sleep. They usually record your sleep sounds at night, complete with the number of times that you wake up as well as your breathing.

Generally, the phone is worn around your chest just like that of the monitor. During your sleep, it will record all your sleep activity and will show you a graphics of your sleep in the morning along with an analyzation of the data recorded. Once you get the result, you must contact a sleep doctor to analyze it so that you’ll find out whether you have sleep apnea or not.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Snoring is often a symptom of common sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. It can be the first sign that a person has a sleep apnea, which means that snoring should be investigated further once he knows that he is snoring. It is important that it is done so as sleep apnea can cause a variety of diseases such as diabetes as well as fatty liver diseases. It can also cause stress and the lack of sleep will impair everyday functions and can even lead to death, as explained before. As such, snoring should always be investigated. Though it may just be some simple case of sleep deprivation or a sign of other disorders, it should still be checked out to ensure that it isn’t.

Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces for Treating Snoring

madThere are various ways that can be done in order to treat snoring. It could be self-help or you can also get the help of sleep doctors. You can consult a doctor to find out what the cause of your snoring is and then what can be done to rid of it. Or, you can have some anti-snoring products that can remedy your snoring. Such snoring remedies can be chin straps, pillows, nasal products, natural pills as well as anti-snoring mouthpieces.

It is an anti-snoring piece that is commonly used by people who snore. They are categorized into two classifications, the tongue retaining devices and mandibular repositioning systems. The tongue retaining device is used to keep the tongue slightly to prevent the back of the tongue from blocking the airways. The mandibular repositioning system, on the other hand, works by holding the lower jaw in a slightly forward position and keeping it and other associated structures in a stable position. Devices under the mandibular repositioning systems include MRD (mandibular repositioning devices), MAS (mandibular advancement splint) as well as MAD (mandibular advancement device).

Types of Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces


MAD or mandibular advancement device is one of the most commonly used anti-snoring mouthpieces. It falls on the mandibular repositioning systems category of anti-snoring mouthpieces. MADs are used to attach the upper and lower teeth and reposition the lower jaw so that it is slightly forward in position. MADs are used to keep them in that position, thereby preventing snoring to occur. It is made from a variety of materials such as dental wires and plastic, but these days, they are commonly made from flexible thermoplastic materials with an adjustable feature for convenient use.

MADs have been proven to be effective in preventing and reducing the occurrence of snoring which is why they are high-recommended, though use of them often causes jaw pain, mouth soreness, dry mouth and others. MAD brands that are available and can be purchased over the counter include SnoreRx, VitalSleep, SomnoGuard AP, as well as ZQuiet.

TSA or Tongue Stabilizing Device, on the other hand, woks by being latched on to the tongue using suction and then stabilizing it in a slightly forward position. This way, the tongue is prevented from collapsing and then blocking the passage of air during sleep. This device is the newest technological innovation when it comes to anti-snoring technologies. As opposed to the MAD, TSDs are considered to be more elegant and are more convenient to use. It is also known to be very effective in preventing and reducing snoring as well as obstructive sleep apnea, as shown by many clinical studies conducted to see its effectiveness.

Based on such studies, there are many patients that prefer TSDs over MADs when it comes to CPAP therapy, probably because of its convenient use compared to MADs. It was also found out that TSPs have fewer side effects unlike MADs that cause some gag reflex, jaw soreness and many other effects.

Sleep apnea and snoring can be seen as a simple disorder by many, but they are actually a dangerous disease that can cause serious damage and even death. On that note, it is important that people are able to see the signs and symptoms for an earlier treatment of the disease, thereby preventing other complications. It must always be remembered that prevention is better than cure whatever type of disease that may be.

Medicine Technology: An Overview

What do we understand about medicine technology? It is also referred as medical technology, is any type of intrusion that is used to make a safe and effective diagnosis, prevention, rehabilitation and treatment for different diseases and illnesses. It can be procedures, devices, pharmaceuticals and organizational systems that are used in health care. It is also a subset of health technology, and its scope is a variety of products for healthcare that are used on humans. Such development and use of technologies are very important because they are made to improve quality in providing health care through the diagnosis made using less aggressive options for treatment as well as reducing the number of days spent in the hospital and rehab. Other important details about medicine technology that you should know are as follows:

  • The technological advancements in medical technology are now also focused more in reducing costs.
  • This field is broad as this may also include information technology, different medical devices, healthcare services and biotech.
  • It may also talk about the duties that are performed by clinical laboratory professionals that are in different settings in the private and public sectors. This may include the clinical applications in genetics, chemistry, immunohematology, hematology, microbiology, immunology, urinalysis, serology and other different analysis in the body fluid.
  • The professionals in medicine technology may be called as Medical Laboratory Scientists or MLS, Biomedical Scientists, Medical technologists or MT, Medical Laboratory Technicians and Medical Laboratory Technologists; which may depend on the location, the certifying body as well as the level of education.
Medicine Technology: An Overview

Medicine Technology plays an integral part in the industry of medicine as a whole, which also includes medical practitioners, pharmaceutical industry, and many others. The way of life will be very different without medicine technology. It affects how humans can become healthy as well as how one will receive the proper health care that is needed.

Top 3 Portable Devices Needed by Doctors

These days, there are so many portable devices to choose from. A typical person owns more than one device. Examples are laptops, cellphones, tablets, and PDAs. If you’re in the medical field, you also need these portable devices. But if you don’t want to carry too many devices around, you can survive with just these three:

  1. Portable computer or laptop. Most doctors are now opting to store patient information in laptops rather than paper. Not only does it become easier to compile all pertinent information, but it also minimizes the clutter in the clinic. You can also access the information wherever you are. A hospital can also have a database of patients and personnel to make sure that emergency situations can be handled quickly. Since laptops also have a bigger storage space, you can store resources and training materials in there for review.
  2. Smartphone or PDA. Today, smartphones can already be your personal digital assistant. There are applications that help schedule your activities and remind you of your appointments and tasks. You will become a more efficient physician with a device reminding you of what you need to do within reach. It’s also easy to communicate through smartphones.
  3. Tablet. Tablets are also helpful because it can help you access your mail, databases, and patient files anytime. Sure, the laptop already allows access to these things, but tablets are lighter and more convenient to bring anywhere. Besides, it also has a longer battery life, so even if your laptop battery is already dead, you can still rely on your tablet.
Top 3 Portable Devices Needed by Doctors

With your laptop, smartphone, and tablet, you can access everything you need. To maximize the capability of these devices, you might want to synchronize your files. If you do that, you can access everything regardless of whether you are using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. That way, if your smartphone dies, you can still send an email from your tablet.

Incentives And Penalties In Using Portable Computers For EMR And EHR

The use of portable computers and tablets has gained both positive and negative reactions from doctors. Although there are doctors that rely on the electronic medical records or EMRs for accessibility and convenience but some still think that traditional paper work and the use of pen and pad is still the best way to handle patients. The US government aims to reach the goal of Obamacare wherein the costs are lower and there is more access with the records.

Incentives And Penalties In Using Portable Computers For EMR And EHR

As of now, doctors and hospitals are being convinced by the federal government to adopt health information technology and EMRs with financial incentives but this will change soon wherein penalties will be set instead of rewards. In the year 2015, all physicians that are not using an EMR that is certified will have 1% cut on their Medicare reimbursements. This deduction rate will increase to 2% in year 2016, 3% in 2017, 4% in 2018, and can go up to 95%, which will depend on the adjustments in the future.

The key component of Obamacare is to pay for quality instead of paying for services. Paying for quality means measuring quality and it has been difficult in the past without the use of technology, and the use of EMR and EHR are perfect tools to achieve the goal. There are already many hospitals in the United States that have gone digital and received a significant amount of federal incentive.

EMR or electronic medical record is a software system that replaces the use of paper charts while EHR or electronic health record is software that can connect physicians as well as other caregivers to coordinate information of patient such as medical history, medications, laboratory data, immunizations, and radiology reports. Time will come that patients and doctors won’t have much choice because the future is believed to be in this technological development.

Two Opinions On Using Portable Computers And Tablets For EMR

For how many years now, the government are trying to convince doctors to use portable computers and tablets instead of pens and pads to lower costs and create more access. But not all physicians are agreeing to this. Some doctors are just old school, they do not set time limits on patient visits and rely on folders full of paper charts, they have been doing it for more than 30 years and they are not willing to use these gadgets to take notes during the exam.

Two Opinions On Using Portable Computers And Tablets For EMR

These doctors have not considered electronic medical records or EMRs yet. EMRs should make caring for the patients easier wherein tedious tasks of writing down the patient’s medical histories, filling out of lab requests and prescription management are all simplified. This can be bothersome for them because it distracts them of the new system. They believe that they are more attentive to the EMR rather than listening to the talking patient.

But not all doctors think the same. There are also others that are already well adjusted and cannot function well without using the EMR. After how many years of utilizing the basic system, the technology has significantly developed. The software that some doctors use can notify them of allergy alerts as well as possible interactions with drugs. If a doctor is away from the hospital and calls them in the middle of the night, he or she can just easily look up their electronic health record for them to see their last actions taken. Lab results can also be easily accessed online by the patient without having the need to go to the clinic for it.

Two Opinions On Using Portable Computers And Tablets For EMR

Both sides have different effects and experiences regarding on patients leaving them. Patients of old school doctors left because they wanted them to go digital while the high-tech doctors were dropped because their faces are usually glued on to the screen.