A research team from the University of Queensland, Australia, and Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, developed a way of diagnosing OSA by simply listening to snoring noises.

Udantha Abeyratne, PhD, from the University’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, and his team acquire the snoring sounds through noncontact recording devices and extract specific features from them. The team has developed “several” techniques to diagnose OSA using snoring noises alone, according to Abeyratne.

“At present we are capable of screening OSA with greater than 90% sensitivity and specificity,” said Abeyratne.

“These results are unmatched in the world in terms of the noninvasiveness and performance, and unequivocally illustrate the viability of a snore-based, noncontact OSA screening device,” said Abeyratne.

“There is an enormous clinical need for a simplified diagnostic instrument capable of convenient and reliable screening of OSA in a home setting,” said co-investigator Dr Craig Hukins, director of the Princess Alexandra Hospital sleep laboratory.

According to a report on the University of Queensland’s Web site, the novel home screening method designed by Abeyratne’s team is likely to be available within the next 2 to 5 years.

Abeyratne and his team also hope to tackle OSA treatment in a similar way. The research team has proposed developing treatment technology that centers on breathing sound analysis.