The United States Patent Office has granted Nox Medical a new patent for its methods of non-invasively determining an internal component of respiratory effort during sleep studies to support the diagnoses of sleep apnea.

The patent describes how the signals recorded from Nox standard respiratory bands—respiratory inductance plethysmography (RIP) bands—can be used to derive information on internal respiratory effort mechanisms. This information allows medical providers and sleep scientists to understand what is happening within the body during sleep studies without using invasive measures.

“The goal is to provide the healthcare professionals with more data and information that will allow our users to use it to support better diagnoses and therapy selection,” says Sveinbjorn Hoskuldsson, chief technology officer at Nox Medical, in a press release. “We know from the literature and have as well demonstrated ourselves that respiration is strongly related to multiple parameters of sleep. We have also observed that high-quality RIP signals are among the most reliable surrogate signals available to analyze sleep and sleep disorders. For this reason, we have for over a decade focused our R&D activities on advancing the Nox RIP technology from all aspects, including sensors, measurement, analysis, and AI classification. This patent is another testimony of the significant progress we have made over the years in providing valuable information on sleep based on the comfortably measured Nox RIP signals.”

When a person undergoes a sleep study with Nox Medical’s diagnostic equipment, whether at home or in the lab, the person’s breathing throughout the night is recorded with the Nox RIP belts.

The Nox RIP belts are specially engineered to measure in detail the movements of the chest and abdomen in a high resolution. This results in the signals that include a representation of the volume changes within the chest and abdomen at any moment in time. This characteristic of the Nox RIP technology allows more information to be extracted from the signals than only the conventional respiratory effort indicators used in standard sleep studies.

The new patent is part of a series of patent filings to protect Nox Medical’s intellectual property related to information derived from the Nox RIP technology.

“Getting the novelty of this method recognized by the US Patent Office is a great acknowledgment of the research activities on the hidden information of the Nox RIP technology that we have been investing in over a better half of a decade now and provides us with the protection of IP of the fundamental technology that we will be building into our future sleep diagnostic products,” says Ingvar Hjalmarsson, the company’s chief strategy officer and executive vice president of strategic business, in a press release.