The new cloud-based service gives easy access to a single report that combines sleep study metrics and patient self-reported data, replacing traditional paper documentation.
Paid for by Itamar Medical
When a patient is scheduled for a home sleep test, behavioral and lifestyle data—such as what time the patient napped or exercised that day—can be useful to the sleep specialist who is interpreting the study. But collecting this data can be inconvenient and time-consuming.
Sleep clinics typically provide paper questionnaires to patients before and after HSTs to ascertain such information as what medications they took that day and their perspective on sleep quality. After receiving the questionnaires back—which may or may not happen before the objective data from the device becomes available—a nurse or other team member inserts the relevant answers manually into the electronic medical records system.
Many sleep professionals feel there has to be a better, more streamlined way to collect and merge objective and subjective data from patients. And, at SLEEP 2021, Itamar Medical Ltd revealed a digital solution: SleePATh®. For the first time, subjective data can be collected from patients through the WatchPAT® smartphone app, both before and after the home sleep test. This new service gives sleep health providers simple access to digital documentation in one report that combines sleep study metrics and patient self-reported data, replacing traditional paper documentation.
“Today, everyone is discussing how to deliver patient-centric, home based, and individualized solutions. Our purpose is to improve the experience between health professionals and their patients and facilitate more personalized sleep diagnostics,” says João Mendes-Roter, vice president, digital health product-marketing. “We are offering more than an app: We are offering an end-to-end experience that starts with a sleep physician assigning questionnaires, customizable as per his needs, continues with the patient completing the questionnaires in-app, taking an easy yet comprehensive home sleep test, and ends with a report to the sleep physician, ensuring fast, simple, easy access to the data they need.”
Mendes-Roter discussed SleePATh® with Sleep Review over email. The transcript has been lightly edited for clarity and style.
What inspired the creation of SleePATh®?
JMR: During the past few years, we kept hearing from our customers, both sleep physicians and other health professionals, that there is a strong desire for more streamlined and automated digital documentation and data analysis of the patients, specifically around these pre/post sleep study questionnaires.
Following the onset of COVID-19 and the shift towards home diagnostics and telemedicine, clinicians were faced with a reduced ability to interact with patients directly at the clinic. What was once a requested feature developed into a truly invaluable patient insight vehicle.
Combined with the amazing adoption of the WatchPAT® ONE technology that requires use of a smartphone app and requires a strong cloud-based infrastructure complying with all patient privacy standards, we have decided to invest efforts in delivering a solution based on the technology backbone we already developed. Our focus is to empower sleep clinics with customizable management tools to enable accurate, fast, and comprehensive sleep evaluations, reduce paperwork, increase direct patient interaction, streamline the diagnosis process, and fast-track patient care.
What impact will this data collection have on the patient’s sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment journey?
JMR: We believe the added value is huge—to the clinic, the sleep physician, and the patient.
First, it’s an app on a smartphone that the patient “clicks,” “checks,” or “rolls” in a gamified graphic user interface. So they are motivated to complete the answers to this part of the diagnosis test.
Second, this service is customizable. That means the providers can enable any set of questions they think are relevant to each individual patient, including avoiding a standard long list of questions that may not be needed and may be duplicates.
Third, the output is provided in automated, easy-to-read, quantifiable results, integrated in context with the already available objective sleep study report—for more organized digital documentation and faster analysis.
Fourth, we included an alert and reminder mechanism using smartphone notification capabilities. This service engages the patients to complete each questionnaire in the relevant timeframe and potentially opens a communication channel for sleep physicians to get more information needed during the diagnosis process.
How do you see sleep specialists utilizing this data?
JMR: WatchPAT® has already added much more information to a sleep study report, such as AHI, RDI, and ODI based on True Sleep Time; REM and Non-REM AHI and ODI; Positional AHI; and other critical information. SLeePATh® adds an additional dimension of subjective data that is critical to the interpretation of the results and therefore will increase physician comfort with home sleep testing and hopefully continue to support its adoption.
As an example, in Feb 2021, an American Academy of Sleep Medicine task force issued a Telemedicine Template for Adult Comprehensive Sleep Evaluation visit notes. The template includes modules like: Daytime Sleepiness, Insomnia, Sleep Schedule, Circadian, RLS, Parasomnias, and Past Medical History.
Our new SleePATh® service will allow sleep physicians to assign these types of modules to their patients and get an automated, easy-to-read report integrated with the already available objective sleep study report.
For what patients is SleePATh® appropriate for?
JMR: SleePATh® is relevant to all US English patients that are in the process of evaluation of sleep-related disorders and were referred for a sleep study.
What surprised you about the reception SleePATh® received from the sleep medicine community when it was unveiled at SLEEP 2021?
JMR: There was a tremendous excitement and feedback welcoming this long-awaited offering.
It was clear from our tech-suite conversations that clinicians are looking for better ways to engage with their patients. There was genuine excitement that SleePATh® can help to facilitate productive and immediate engagements.
What hardware and software does a patient need to access SleePATh®?
JMR: The patients will only need their personal smartphone and to download the SleePATh® app.
What hardware and software does a healthcare professional need to access SleePATh®?
JMR: The healthcare professional will be assigning questionnaires via the CloudPAT® platform, our digital platform for sleep patient pathway management. The SleePATh® module will need to be enabled on the platform.
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