According to data, plus my own insights, the following 5 topics were of the greatest interest to sleep specialists in 2021.

1. Massive CPAP Recall. In June, Philips issued a recall for specific bilevel positive airway pressure devices, CPAPs, and mechanical ventilator devices due to potential health risks related to their sound abatement foam. Despite an ongoing repair and replacement program, the recall continues to impact patients who use the popular DreamStation device line.

Popular Articles: Philips Recall: Are CPAP Filters Effective?, Philips Starts Repair & Replacement Program of First-Gen DreamStation Devices in United States, Sleep Professionals Scramble to Find Solutions for Sleep Apnea Patients Amidst Philips Device Recall 

2. New Therapies. CPAP alternatives are consistently a trending topic, and 2021 brought exciting news: In February, the Food and Drug Administration cleared Signifier Medical Technologies LLC’s eXciteOSA device, the first daytime sleep apnea therapy. In other therapy news, Apnimed made several strides in advancing its program for AD109, an oral therapeutic for obstructive sleep apnea.

Popular Articles: FDA Clears First Daytime Sleep Apnea Therapy, Sleep Apnea Pill Earns $25 Million in Financing for Continued Development & Commercialization

3. Home Sleep Testing (HST) Advances.The most popular news item on our site in 2021 was the announcement that ResMed acquired Ectosense, maker of the NightOwl cloud-connected HST. ResMed’s Jim Hollingshead said in a release, “We believe Ectosense’s digital and easy-to-use solutions in the hands of both sleep lab technicians and consumers worldwide can help significantly increase diagnoses, as well as general awareness of this highly prevalent, 100% treatable disease.” Also of significant interest to sleep specialists are wearable HSTs, such as AcuPebble and VivoScore (powered by SleepImage).

Popular Articles: ResMed Acquires Ectosense, Maker of NightOwl Home Sleep Test, Wearable Single-Sensor Home Sleep Test Launches—It’s Powered by Technology That’s FDA Cleared for Diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea, FDA OKs New Home Sleep Apnea Testing Device

4. Alarming Government Agency Draft Report. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in April published a draft of its assessment of CPAP for sleep apnea. It stated that CPAP use is not linked to “long-term, clinically important outcomes.” The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) then submitted a multi-society comprehensive comment letter in response, advising that AHRQ’s conclusion doesn’t reflect the totality of available evidence. For example, excessive sleepiness was not considered a clinically important, patient-centered, long-term outcome, the AASM points out. The final report has not yet been published.

Popular Article: AHRQ: ‘Evidence Mostly Does Not Support That CPAP Prescription Affects Long-Term, Clinically Important Outcomes’ 

5. COVID. Like in 2020, news about the coronavirus pandemic and its relationship to sleep diagnosis and therapy continues to be relevant. We hope its relevance abates in 2022.

Popular Articles: Melatonin Produced in the Lungs Prevents COVID-19 Infection, Preprint: CPAP Linked with Less Aerosol Emission Than Breathing, Speaking, or Coughing