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New diagnosis platform for sleep apnea by Taiwan laboratory

Source: Taiwantrade | Updated: 12 January 2015

Recently the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL) has announced a new diagnosis platform for the condition of sleep apnea. NARL said the platform offers a faster and more accurate diagnosis while costing less than conventional methods.


Sleep apnea occurs when a sleeper’s breathing is paused due to narrowed or blocked airway.


The pauses can last as long as several minutes and can happen more than 30 times in one hour. This can lead to buildups of carbon dioxide in the blood stream which in turn can lead to long term complications such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and even stroke.


The conventional test for sleep apnea involves an overnight sleep at a study center. The test is called polysomnography (PSG) and the whole process can take up to one week to get the results.


Due to the lengthy process, PSG waiting lists can be one year or more.


Yet, with NARL’s new diagnosis platform, results can be obtained in just 15 minutes, said NARL. The platform utilizes “cone beam computed tomography”. It involves a machine that scans the patient’s airway and then generates a computer model of it.


NARL’s platform can produce a clear 3D view of the problematic segments of the airway, which can enable more precise treatments.


The results obtained by NARL’s platform are also more accurate at telling if a person has sleep apnea. According to NARL, the platform offers accuracy rates of up to 85% compared to the 50% accuracy rate of PSG.


I-hsuan Liao (annieliao@taitra.org.tw)
Source: Taipei Times


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