If you look at the expense of the “sleep labs”, this can make sense, plus you don’t need to sleep in a strange bed for a couple nights.  The data is downloaded andimage analyzed.  This device has been approved by the FDA since 2004.  

Sleep apnea causes an individual to stop breathing at night and is linked to heart disease.  It is a pretty dramatic change with using the a machine and a feeling of refreshment. 

The convenience of an “at home” test may lead more patients in this direction for testing.  Once you have been diagnosed, there’s some choices for the next step with treatment.  Below are a couple alternatives to a machine one can also wear every night.  BD

Grateful Dead Keyboardist Turns Home Remedy Into a Patented Solution for Sleep Apnea Patients – A Nose Pad

Implant to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Inspire Medical Systems

MENTION health care reform and the image that instantly comes to mind is a big government program. But there is another broad transformation in health care under way, a powerful force for decentralized innovation. It is fueled in good part by technology — low-cost computing devices, digital sensors and the Web.


The trend promises to shift a lot of the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease from hospitals and specialized clinics, where treatment is expensive, to primary care physicians and patients themselves — at far less cost.

To glimpse the business opportunity — and the challenge — at the forefront of this emerging, decentralized health care market, let’s look at a start-up in the field of sleep medicine.

The start-up, Watermark Medical, offers an at-home device and a Web-based service for diagnosing sleep apnea. Characterized by snoring and pauses in breathing, sleep apnea is a serious health problem that often goes undiagnosed.

The patient wears the device for a night or two, then returns the device to the doctor’s office. The data is downloaded to a personal computer, then sent on the Web to a network of sleep professionals, one of whom delivers a report to the physician within 48 hours, with a diagnosis and suggested treatment. The physicians typically charge from $250 to $450 a test, and a doctor collects $100 to $150 of that. “It’s a new revenue stream for the physician,” said Mr. Alvarez, Watermark’s president.

Watermark also charges the physicians $4,000 for each digital headband.

So far, 35,000 patients have been tested using the Watermark device, with more than 1,000 doctors prescribing about 4,000 tests a month.

Unboxed - High-Tech Solutions to High-Cost Medical Care - NYTimes.com


  1. What the hell? You can use a simple oximeter, that you can buy from Walmart.com, for an overnight OXYGEN "study".

    Sure a 2,000 "sleep study" at the hospital will test much more -- EKG, brain waves, REM, you name it. And "sleep doctors" make a fortune on these.

    I used a simple oximeter to see if my oxygen was okay overnight -- and it was. I am already using CPAP, this oximeter test is just a way to see if my oxygen is okay overnight. If my oxygen was low, I would have done the sleep study and made my sleep doctor happy.

    Your overnight oxygen is as important to know as your blood pressure, for people with sleep or heart issues. So it's a smart thing to buy a recording oximeter anyway. That way you can record it every night, if you care to.

    Walmart sells one that goes on your wrist for 200 bucks. Other places sell much more expensives ones, and if you have the money, go for them. But one way or another, find out what your overnight oxygen is, and tell that to the doctor.

    If your oxygen is below 88 for any length of time overnight, that's a big warning sign. In fact, its dangerous and should be treated.

    Low oxygen overnight is BOTH a cause AND a result of heart disease. The earlier in life you start to find out your overnight oxygen, the better. Luckily a simple device can measure it.

  2. This reader is obviously not a physician and has no idea about physiology. You do not have to have low oxygen levels at night to have sleep apnea. In fact, a majority of patients do not desaturate during the night with sleep apnea. Also, the low oxygen level usually picked up by a pulse oximeter overnight may contain erroneous data from it sliiping off the finger. There is a reason why people are trained and certified in diagnosis. Look for a sleep specialist in your area for further information.


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