The use of a continuous wireless patient monitoring platform makes it easier and simpler to monitor infants’ and toddlers’ sleep state at home, versus bringing them into a sleep lab, finds a study presented at the virtual International Pediatric Sleep Association conference.

Polysomnography (PSG) is the current gold standard in high-resolution sleep monitoring; however, this method is obtrusive, expensive, time-consuming, and patients usually have to sleep in a laboratory during this period. Conversely, commercially available wrist monitors can monitor sleep of patients at home for multiple days and at low cost, but often these devices overestimate sleep and cannot differentiate between sleep stages, such as rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM.

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Melissa Horger, a doctoral candidate at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, carried out a study of infant sleep while patients were at home using the Patient Status Engine, a wireless monitoring platform designed and developed by Isansys Lifecare, and the Isansys Lifetouch body-worn cardiac sensors. She found this technology to be a promising alternative to these methods due to its portability and access to high-resolution data and customizable analytics.

She says in a release, “Sleep occurs in a context with bedtime routines. Stripping that away and placing kids into a sleep lab for a polysomnography has implications for the quality of data and the conclusions that we can draw from that data. I wanted to see whether it was feasible to use wireless cardiorespiratory sensors and actigraphy to measure infant sleep whilst the children remain in their own homes. I found that the method proved very feasible and actually expands the potential for long-term sleep monitoring.

“The most important factors to assess within my study was the ease of use and portability of the technology. It was critical that the sensors were comfortable enough for infant and toddlers to ignore them and sleep soundly and that I could physically deliver the technology to the parents’ homes and they could apply the sensors to their children themselves and set up the system. This has become even more important due to the onset of COVID-19 and trying to minimize in-person contact as much as possible.

“During my study, I witnessed the ease and fidelity of how this can be used in the home by parents who have no specific medical expertise and believe this technology can really transform the way we carry out sleep research.”