When engineers from Australia-based Compumedics developed the Somté, they knew cardiology was likely to play a growing role within sleep medicine. With this in mind, they developed a Holter-type sleep system that earned a 2006 Frost & Sullivan award for Technology Leadership.
Combining home sleep diagnostics with the optional capability for Holter ECG monitoring and pulse transit time results, is one reason the down-under designers earned the award. Most other home sleep testing (HST) units do not have the option, because they don’t record electrocardiography (ECG) signals.
Jeff Kuznia, vice president of North American Sales and Marketing for Compumedics, says the unit’s ability to record reliable data means that the equipment fits well into the Type 3 recorder market. Holter ECG monitoring exists as a stand-alone product, but the software development required to combine it with sleep makes it difficult for other companies to make a similar device.
Compumedics’ involvement in the Sleep-Heart Health Study sparked the original Holter idea, and there are no regrets—but still some work to do. “ Most cardiologists are aware of the connection between sleep disordered breathing and cardiovascular disease. However I do not believe that many have firsthand experience with managing sleep disorders, and may not appreciate the impact that sleep disorders have on cardiovascular disease, but also the effect of treating Sleep Disordered Breathing ‘SDB’ when it comes to managing many patients who suffer from complex hypertension or cardiac arrhythmias.”