Itamar Medical’s offers regularly scheduled webinars and workshops on its specific technology, which acquires a physiologically accurate arterial pulse via the plethysmography signal.

Paid for by Itamar Medical

Itamar® Medical is committed to professional education. It has offered peer-to-peer classroom training with interactive courses and hands-on training for many years. It now debuts, a new professional education portal. 

“With the COVID outbreak, we started to look for alternative virtual solutions to provide continuous education to our customers,” says Melih Alvo, Itamar’s senior marketing manager. “PAT® Academy offers different levels of courses in multiple languages and time zones to meet the needs of our valued customers.”

Since launching PAT® Academy earlier this year, more than 1,000 health care professionals have registered for different levels of courses and workshops.

PAT® is a specific technology to acquire a high-quality and physiologically accurate arterial pulse by acquiring plethysmography signal under specific conditions. This technology is unique to Itamar products. “We want our customers to have a full understanding of PAT® signal’s capabilities and WatchPAT® recordings, and support users in their practice transformation by providing different levels of courses,” Alvo says. “Anyone interested in learning to perform a manual scoring review, edit for WatchPAT® sleep studies, or learn more about PAT® signal and its capabilities is welcome to our courses.”

Alvo, along with PAT® Academy trainer Alan Schwartz, MD, discussed the educational portal with Sleep Review over email.

Melih Alvo, senior marketing manager, Itamar Medical

Who are the “basic” courses geared toward versus the “advanced” courses?

Alvo: Our basic courses are designed for physicians seeking to understand the PAT® signal physiology, WatchPAT® scoring algorithm, and diagnosis capabilities. Our advanced courses are geared toward physicians who would like to learn how to interpret the WatchPAT® report and recording and understand when and how to verify and edit WatchPAT® recordings by using the manual scoring guidelines.

Schwartz: PAT® knowledge is not required to attend our courses. We will cover and set a knowledge base during our courses. Below are some bullet points of what we cover at each level.

Basic Course: Practice and Principles

  • Review WatchPAT® technology
  • Evaluate hypnogram and sleep disordered breathing patterns
  • Identify salient features in WatchPAT® reports
  • Target areas for greater scrutiny in WatchPAT® recordings
  • Summarize impact of visual overreading in COMPASS Study

Advanced Course: Case Analysis

  • Distinguish obstructive versus Cheyne-Stokes/central sleep apnea
  • Apply editing guidelines across a spectrum of sleep-disordered breathing
  • Revisit a spectrum of obstructive sleep-disordered breathing patterns
  • Recognize non-respiratory sleep disturbances

Are all of the courses relevant to all Itamar’s PAT devices, including WatchPAT300 and WatchPAT ONE?

Alvo: Yes. PAT® technology is unique to Itamar products. Regardless of if it is disposable or reusable, all WatchPAT® home sleep apnea tests use PAT® signal.

Why is PAT® Academy a valuable resource for sleep professionals?

Schwartz: The PAT® Academy is designed to introduce physicians and sleep technologists to the analysis of WatchPAT® home sleep apnea tests. It reviews WatchPAT® fundamentals and applies these principles to the analysis of basic and advanced cases. The practitioner is encouraged to derive key inferences from WatchPAT®‘s automated report and to solidify these inferences with visual analysis of physiologic signals contained in the underlying recordings. 

The approach serves to highlight the importance of alterations in autonomic cardiorespiratory control in recognizing sleep-wake state and sleep-disordered breathing episodes. In a series of illustrative case examples, the PAT® Academy builds progressively on fundamental principles to enhance the clinician’s acumen and ability to accurately diagnose a variety of sleep-disordered breathing patterns and non-respiratory sleep disorders. The approach implements state of the art scoring guidelines, which were developed from a rigorous comparison of WatchPAT® and polysomnographic recordings.   

Alan Schwartz, MD
Alan Schwartz, MD

What does it cost for sleep professionals to take the webinars/workshops?

Alvo: There is no cost associated with PAT® Academy courses. These courses have very high demand and come with limited spots as a way to keep the interactivity and learning experience high. We recommend all interested participants register for their desired course early through to ensure they reserve a spot.

What is the difference between the “webinar” format and the “workshop” format?

Alvo: Although both are interactive sessions, webinars are designed to build the knowledge about PAT® signal, WatchPAT® recordings. Workshops are designed for in-depth case reviews that are submitted by participants. 

All our webinars and workshops are designed as an interactive format to maximize the learning experience. There is a designated Q&A segment, plus our trainers pause for questions during the sessions so participants can ask questions or comment anytime.

How do you come up with webinar topics for PAT Academy? Are you open to suggestions from sleep professionals?

Schwartz: The WatchPAT® webinars were designed to take the practitioner from basic to advanced case analyses. Cases are specifically selected to illustrate key concepts required to render secure diagnoses of respiratory and non-respiratory sleep disorders. The approach teaches the practitioner how to leverage the automated analyses of WatchPAT® studies with efficient strategies to recognize, confirm and edit the scored recordings. The PAT® Academy welcomes further input and insights from sleep professionals to reinforce and extend the curriculum with additional didactic material and interactive activities.   

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