Remote monitoring and automated coaching from ResMed significantly improve the use of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure therapy) for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is according to an independent Kaiser Permanente study at the SLEEP 2016 conference in Denver.

More than 500 patients on CPAP therapy received support, including remote, automated coaching from ResMed’s U-Sleep platform, a secure solution clinicians use to manage large groups of CPAP users “by exception” to quickly identify and support patients who need help.

Patients who received support from U-Sleep achieved Medicare-defined CPAP adherence 21% more than the average study participant over a 90-day period, without additional provider intervention.

“Anything that significantly increases CPAP use in the first 90 days is a big deal,” says Dennis Hwang, MD, a sleep specialist at Kaiser Permanente’s Fontana Medical Center and the study’s principal investigator, in a release. “That initial period is crucial for patients to embrace CPAP to treat their sleep apnea, which is linked to heart failure, atrial fibrillation, type 2 diabetes, and other serious conditions. Tools like U-Sleep hold a lot of promise for patients on CPAP and the clinicians who treat them.”

“This study is further proof of the dramatic impact remote monitoring, automated coaching, and other digital health technologies have on patients’ health,” says Raj Sodhi, ResMed’s president of healthcare informatics. “These results show great promise for the role that remote monitoring and coaching can play in helping treat a range of chronic diseases.

“ResMed is leading this space globally because of the pioneering nature of our work, and the information we get from studies like this one from Kaiser Permanente. We are improving people’s lives and advancing the practice of medicine through the work we’re doing to shape the frontier of digital health.”

More than 1 million CPAP users are connected every day to ResMed’s secure, cloud-enabled platforms, including U-Sleep.

“What’s equally impressive is that these results were achieved with minimal provider intervention,” says Sodhi. “This technology directly addresses healthcare’s ‘triple aim’ of better patient care, improved population health, and lower healthcare costs: a win for patients, clinicians, and other stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem.”

Study Details

This prospective, randomized, controlled trial looked at patients referred to the Kaiser Permanente Fontana Sleep Center for suspected OSA and evaluated the impact of two telehealth mechanisms in 90-day compliance to CPAP therapy:

  • OSA web-based educational program from Emmi Solutions, and
  • Automated follow-up through ResMed’s U-Sleep patient management platform, which provided individualized feedback via text, e-mail and/or phone based on CPAP usage.

Of 1,455 randomized patients, 556 were prescribed AirSense 10 CPAP machines with built-in cellular communications: 129 were placed into the usual care arm, 164 into the telehealth education arm, 125 into telehealth CPAP monitoring through U-Sleep, and 138 into a combined telehealth education and CPAP monitoring arm.

The study found automated coaching through U-Sleep significantly improved 3-month CPAP use (21% relative increase) without additional provider intervention. Additionally, web-based education on its own (one of four study arms) did not cause a statistically significant impact on 3-month CPAP usage, though it did improve attendance to initial clinic evaluations, strengthening the case for technology intervention.