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Withings teams up with Mayo Clinic on a new Sleep Apnea study

Withings has teamed up with Mayo Clinic on a new Sleep Apnea study. The goal is to validate the diagnostic performance of Withings Sleep Analyzer in detecting the condition.

For those not in the know, Sleep Apnea is characterized by breathing disturbances which occur due to airways becoming relaxed and narrow while you sleep. It could be a a potentially serious problem so its best to see your doctor if you suspect you suffer from the condition. It is estimated that up to 20% of the population have the disorder to a smaller or larger extent. Shockingly, only one in five cases are diagnosed and treated!

The gold standard for the detection of sleep apnea is a diagnostic test of polygraphy or polysomnography. However, this is expensive so cannot be made available to every person. A consumer device that is widely used is ideal as a pre-screen for the condition.

The company conducted a similar study last year for ScanWatch. The wearable can currently identify breathing disturbances during the night, but it stops short of detecting Sleep Apnea. The Withings website states that ScanWatch is currently pending certification for medical-grade sleep apnea detection based on breathing disturbances tracking.

However, that type of functionality is already enabled for Withings Sleep Analyzer. This makes it the world’s first non-invasive sensor that is able detect the condition.

We reviewed Sleep Analyzer last year and found it to be a complete sleep solution. The device slips under your mattress with no buttons to push or need to charge.

A plethora of data is captured and this automatically makes its way to the app on your phone so is ready to be viewed at your convenience. Amongst this is info breathing disturbances during the night. For this, Sleep Analyzer uses a pneumatic sensor that measures your respiratory rate, body movement and a heart rate sensor.

Withings is now collaborating with Mayo Clinic on a study to determine how well Sleep Analyzer performs as compared to a Peripheral Arterial Tonometry Home Sleep Apnea Test Device. Sixty participants, mostly from the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine, have been recruited for the study. The final results should be published in March next year.

One part of the study is to do with identifying Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Participants will be provided with a Withings sleep monitor. After 5 nights of successful data collection, the WatchPAT device will be worn and results compared. The other part of the study is to do with using Sleep Analyzer as a diagnostic test for patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Essential reading: Withings ScanWatch review: the best health-tracking hybrid you can buy

Wearables are slowly moving beyond the usual step, distance and activity tracking. General health tracking is the next big area with lots of opportunity on offer.

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