Novel Wearable Light-Based Device Detects Sleep Apnea

Mar, 2022 - By SMI

Novel Wearable Light-Based Device Detects Sleep Apnea

New research collaboration developed a new way for wearable smart wrist-worn device to assess sleep apnea with more efficiency

People suffering from sleep apnea often find disturbed breathing during sleep, which can adversely impact mental and physical health of an individual. Usually assessing sleep apnea requires spending a night at a clinic with different wired sensors that could disturb sleep of patients. Now a team of scientists from Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands developed a new way for wearable smart wrist-worn device to assess sleep apnea with more efficiency.

The research involved a wrist-worn device same as a fitness tracker device that shines green light through wearer’s skin that goes into the blood vessels. As per the scientists, changes in heart rate could be corresponding to respiration changes resulted from sleep apnea. Then, patients could wear the device for multiple nights comfortably while sleeping in their own bed, and it could offer more data than the traditional method of patients spending a night at a sleep clinic. The used the device for monitoring pulse amplitude and heart rate of 250 participants. Some of the subjects suffered from sleep apnea and some did not. The team used data to train algorithms based on deep-learning.

These algorithms then matched tell-tale changes in heart rate/pulse amplitude to respiratory incidents induced by apnea. Moreover, the algorithms were also trained to filter out eliminate background noise like body movements. As results, it became possible to assess apnea-hypopnea index, which is the number of unnatural respiratory events every hour of sleep for each subject. When the team tested the device on 250 volunteers, it was able to calculate the index for every subject that was closely accurate as of that obtained from traditional sensors used in sleep clinics.

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