The National Institute of Health (NIH) has awarded Rest Technologies Inc a Small Business Innovation Research grant to demonstrate the ability to monitor sleep in pregnant women nightly to identify the onset of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Rest Technologies will monitor patients using the Rest Tracker platform, a medical-grade application using SleepImage’s US Food and Drug Administration-cleared technology that obtains data from a ring when asleep.
Rest Technologies’ CEO, Jerald Simmons, MD, is teaming up with other experts for this NIH-supported research study, including George R Saade, MD, professor and chair, associate dean for women’s health obstetrics and gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, who is recognized for research in high-risk pregnancies.
“The field of high-risk maternal care needs better ways to improve pregnancy outcomes. Studies looking at obstructive sleep apnea have been difficult to perform because there has not been a good method to easily evaluate this population. The technology incorporated into the Rest Tracker is a great enhancement and can simplify the process, allowing women to be monitored every night by just wearing a ring when going to sleep,” says Saade in a release. “I am thrilled the NIH recognized the importance of this study and am excited to be working with this team of specialists.”
Research studies suggest that the prevalence of OSA increases during pregnancy as the maternal body mass index rises. Continuous evaluation is necessary as the risk of developing OSA increases throughout the course of the pregnancy; however this is not currently standard practice in prenatal care. Serial screenings for OSA with in-lab polysomnograms or home sleep apnea tests are impractical and financially prohibitive. Thus, the need arises for improved tools that provide simple, accurate detection of OSA during pregnancy to prevent potential consequences.
“Nimble technologies like the SleepImage ring with multidimensional outputs, combined with the Rest Tracker, offer new options for research and clinical care. I am looking forward to assess the power and useability of this integrated system, which has potential far beyond pregnancy,” says Robert J Thomas, MD, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and collaborative investigator of Rest Technologies’ NIH research effort, in a release.
The outcome analysis from this project will be important for future pregnant populations as well as children-to-adult, high-risk populations, according to a release from Rest Technologies.
“I am honored and excited to have been able to bring together these experts to work with Rest Technologies, enhancing our ability to identify OSA in pregnant women by utilizing these new monitoring technologies. This NIH study will pave the way to improve maternal care and the health of newborn infants by early interventions that will improve the sleep of pregnant women who develop OSA,” says Simmons in a release.