Is The Professional Sleep Community Represented Fairly?

In the last several weeks there seems to be a lot of buzz surrounding the AASM/ABSM’s announcement that they will be developing and administering a new credentialing exam for professional sleep techs sometime later this year.

As we are all trying to understand the reasoning behind this “surprising” pathway, we are being told by the AASM/ABSM that their reasons for adding a fourth sleep credential include low pass rates with the existing RPSGT exam and complaints from sleep center/lab physicians that the new crop of RPSGT’s do not have the skills needed to meet the labs needs regarding patient care and professional processes.

Now I know that I am just a mere educator and simply hold multiple credentials in a variety of related professions, which includes being a proud registered sleep tech for about 15 years, so maybe I am not smart enough to understand this reasoning by the AASM/ABSM. But what stands out in my mind is where is the representation I have always paid for, and expected, from the AAST?

After finding out about this new credential pathway I did some of my own investigation to try and find the answers to some questions that my elected AAST leadership has yet to answer. I called numerous sleep centers accross the country and spoke with many center/lab physicians and techs and without failure each and every one of them had “no such complaints” as explained to us by the AASM/ABSM. Maybe I just did not ask the right people, after all I am “only” a sleep tech and educator.

Now I admit that I have limited resources and time and could not possibly contact everyone to ask their opinion. So I asked myself who could do this for me, for us. Who has the resources to contact some 17,000 RPSGT’s and thousands of accredited sleep facilities and physicans to ask the same questions that I asked when I contacted just a few dozen. 

From what I am reading in the blogs, and Facebook, and other cyber space sites is that many of you are asking the same question and most of you are coming to the same conclusion: the AAST, the AASM, and the ABSM. After all, isnt this why we have paid year after year of membership fees, supported annual meetings, and donated our time to further the cause of sleep professionalism. My expectation, maybe your expectation as well, was that my membership dollars and my donated time was not only to futher the cause of sleep professionalism but was to also protect my credential. Doing both would protect my livelihood as well.

As I said in the beginning of this rant, maybe I am just not smart enough to understand where my representatives have been on this matter, much less where they stand today. I also dont understand why nobody asked me my opinion about any of this over the last several years. And the same concern was expressed to me when I called upon the physicans and techs that I have spoken with over the last week or so.

The actions taken by the AASM/ABSM/AAST may be based on valid reasoning and concerns. I have no way of knowing one way or the other. So far they have only told us what they want us to know and have not released any valid data to support their decision. However what I do know is that the actions, or lack of action, by all three entities have thrown this profession into chaos. And the statement by the AASM/ABSM that I will be able to “grandfather my RPSGT” to their new credential means that at some near point in time my RPSGT credential will be worthless.

Its important to also remember that many of our representatives in these organizations are volunteers. They too have donated massive amount of their personal time and energies to support our profession. But it is also important to understand that their are also many “paid” representatives and staff that depend on the survival, and expansion, of these organizations for their income and in some cases, their positions of power and authority.

How each of you react to this chaos that was thrown upon us is a personal decision. I have read and heard that many or you are cancelling memberships and others are cancelling plans to attend the national meeting and opting instead to pay their dollars to state and regional meetings. Still others are taking the “wait and see” approach to see where the AAST  “publically” stands when they eventually do take a stand either way for the development and testing of the new credential.

Whatever action you take or dont take I suggest that you stay informed and do your homework. Talk to each other, send emails to your elected industry and organization representatives. Make an informed decision on what action you take as an individual. For me, its pretty simple personal decision; since I am not smart enough to be asked my opinion I will be attending the Southern Sleep Meeting in New Orleans where I can be with other RPSGT’s who may actually think that I have something of value to say.

Joseph Anderson, RPSGT, RPFT, CRT-NPS, RCP

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

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Introducting the new BW II PSG

Image145 Introducting the new BW II PSGSmall Company, Big Impact

In the fiercely competitive world of sleep, USA—also known as —relies on nimble responses and easy financing to build a growing customer base.

Swimming freely in a sea of sharks is no easy task, but , co-founder of Florida-based Neurovirtual USA, Inc. has gotten used to it after more than a decade. Despite an environment filled with well-financed competitors, his company’s Sleepvirtual BWII PSG technology continues to do well in its role as a PSG machine that allows users to record and score sleep studies.

The product is composed of a hardware piece and a software program that can be used with PC computers that run Windows XP, Vista, or W7. Both trace and scoring capabilities are relied upon by users such as Jonathan Davidson, MD, owner of Advanced , who says the unit’s portability (under 10 pounds) and accompanying service make a potent combination.

knows that customers appreciate the BWII’s price and value, but it’s the technical support and financing, he says, that seals the deal. “We finance all of our customers internally, so they do not need to resort to third party financing to purchase our equipment,” says . “We offer three paths to obtaining our equipment: renting; lease to own; and purchase. Each of those offers price conscious purchasers a way to equip their without breaking the bank.”

As a owner for the past decade, Davidson particularly appreciates that Neurovirtual offers free, lifetime technical support all day, every day, for as long as he owns the equipment. And when he needs someone to talk with, he can always find someone—not always an easy task with the so-called big guys. “We have had problems with the reps at major companies,” says Davidson, who runs three in Stockton, Sacramento, and Modesto. “At other manufacturers, reps get fired and they can’t replace them. Neurovirtual is smaller, and more interested in giving you personal service. Acquisition of data is easy, validation is easy, and the way the hardware is designed makes it simple to work with. The electrode box is light, and it’s a fraction of the size of its competitors.”

Davidson heard about Neurovirtual through a colleague. He eventually called the company and received a 1-month trial product. He ordered two for his Stockton lab, replaced four machines in Modesto, and by the time he outfitted his Sacramento facility, he had a dozen machines—all of which are subject to free upgrades.

All about Mindset

Faria believes in the old axiom that if you don’t take care of your customers, someone else will. He likes the idea of being a relatively small and nimble company and, when it comes to financing, his philosophy is one that cash-strapped labs can embrace. “Let’s say you are going to buy three beds and it is going to be a $50,000 to $60,000 purchase, and you are probably going to a bank or to the manufacturers,” says Faria. “When you go to finance, it takes about a month just to get approved. They are going to ask for your statements and want to see your tax return, and it takes forever. We do internal financing, and so far we haven’t turned any customers down. We have processes in place, and that’s our trade secret.

“We are also the only company that offers lifetime technical support,” continues Faria. “That means that as long as they own our equipment, we are going to get their call and we are going to help them address their problem. We are the only company that offers free lifetime software upgrades.”

Faria contends that a lot of large companies can’t offer comparable service because of the inherent pressures of running a publicly traded company (Neurovirtual is private). “The pressures of Wall Street force these companies to show profits and the objectives are very short term,” says Faria. “When you look to us, you look to a company that has a mission to universalize sleep medicine. Yes, we have a mission in mind that we want to be big, we want to be everywhere in the world, and we want to make a difference in this world.”

ScreenShot062 Introducting the new BW II PSGWith the growth he expects, Faria admits that the inevitable challenge will be to maintain the services of a small company. By maintaining the private status of the company, he believes it can be done. “We don’t have the same pressure to impress shareholders, so our objective is to really satisfy each of our customers and expand and gain market share,” says Faria. “We are not in this fight just for the profit. We are here to make a difference. We are a for-profit business, but we are not under severe pressure from Wall Street for profits and results.”

For sleep technicians, Faria says the bottom line is the proverbial bottom line. And contributing to the bottom line is easier when systems simplify daily tasks and make technicians more effective. “You become a more productive worker and can take on more tasks in the same amount of time than you could before,” explains Faria. “Ultimately, you can see a boost in your wages and an increase in your sleep lab bottom line.”

The BWII PSG offers several different features:

Score on the run which allows users to split the screen during the acquisition and start scoring the same study you are recording. A sleep statistic window automatically gives updates on the AHI and other parameters in real-time.

All necessary menus recording a PSG on the same screen.

Montages, filters, sensitivity, and speed of the page adjustments with a mouse click or keyboard shortcuts.

One exam for one file for ease of transferring, copying, and e-mailing (HIPPA Compliant).

Exclusive technology allows users to have the system working anywhere when the team moves around to different locations. The system can be used for acquisition in one location, be scored somewhere else, and interpreted by the physician in a third place—and archived in a completely different location.

Free unlimited scoring and review software that can be installed on as many different computers as needed. For more information, visit

SleepView: The Smallest, Lightest, Type III Sleep Monitor

Imagess2 SleepView: The Smallest, Lightest, Type III Sleep MonitorThe ultra light type 3 home sleep monitor from is designed to be simple for patients, and cost effective for .

Just shy of a year on the market, the SleepView from CleveMed has managed to carve a growing niche in the highly competitive world of home sleep monitoring. Sarah Weimer, director of at the Cleveland-based manufacturer, touts the device as the smallest and lightest home sleep monitor within the AASM-recommended Type 3 channel-set guidelines.

At a weight of approximately 2 ounces, the equipment is ergonomically designed for patients to perform a self test at home, while also working hand in hand with CleveMed’s PSG Web Portal.

The eCrystal PSG web service is offered at three different service tiers to meet the needs of various customers. We offer a full service with use of our eCrystal PSG web portal, scoring and interpretation for customer who are not affiliated with a sleep center. Our mid tier service includes use of eCrystal PSG and scoring. With this service a registered sleep technologist verifies the scoring and creates a draft of the report to be completed by a sleep physician. We also offer web portal use only. This service is used by centers that have personal for scoring and interpretation but wish to take advantage of easy web access to the data. Sleep studies can be uploaded from the point of patient care.

Easy for Patients

While approved home sleep testing last year, reimbursement still stands at just over $200. At that rate, Weimer points out that it is not cost effective for sleep labs, especially if sleep professionals must be involved with the setup every step of the way. “With that in mind, the goal with the SleepView was to make a device that fulfilled the channel set asked for by AASM, with the types of sensors that they like to see as well,” says Weimer. “At the same time, we wanted it to be very easy for patients to do a self hook up with minimal instruction.”

Clevemed was uniquely suited to do an incredibly small due to the company’s long history of producing wireless monitors. Working within the diminutive design parameters, engineers sought to avoid the more complex harness systems used by competitors. “We wanted it to be small and light enough that it could be supported by a traditional respiratory effort belt,” reveals Weimer. “It is easier for patients to hook themselves up. They don’t have to worry about extra mounting straps or the discomfort of having the device worn elsewhere on the body.”

Not surprisingly, patients appreciate how easy it is to put on the SleepView. For patients who think it may be too easy and question the procedure, engineers went an additional step with LED light indicators on the front that let patients know if they have hooked themselves up properly. “If they turn the device on, but they don’t have sensors on, there is a little light on the front of the device by each channel name that will light up red to let them know that they are not hooked up properly,” explains Weimer. “As they get each channel hooked up correctly, those lights will turn green to indicate that it is collecting a good signal. When the patient first turns the device on, those lights will stay on for 90 seconds, and then anytime during the night the patient can hit the ‘on’ button again to get another 30 seconds of feedback about whether the device is collecting good signals or not.”

Image3 SleepView: The Smallest, Lightest, Type III Sleep MonitorFeedback on usability and success rates tabulated from sponsored tests have consistently shown that patients come back with valid data. “Other customers have been using our other product, the , which is a little bit more traditional and a little bit more complicated for the patient to put on,” says Weimer. “It [the Scout] does not have the feedback, and we would have an increased number of unsuccessful studies with that product compared to this product. The immediate patient feedback on the SleepView lets patients know that they may not have a sensor in place properly, and they can fix it right away.”

Expanding the Market

Weimer agrees that the SleepView, and home testing in general, will likely expand the market for sleep labs by increasing access and awareness to potential patients. The undiagnosed masses will get into the treatment cycle, benefitting all parties throughout the continuum of care.

As more clinicians learn about the importance of sleep, referrals will also increase the flow of patients. “Patients are typically seeing their dentists or , and if those health care professionals are asking the right questions about sleep, it is just going to increase the number of people who are aware and getting tested,” says Weimer.

SleepView at a Glance

Hardware Dimensions: 3” × 2.6” × 0.7” (7.6 cm × 6.6 cm × 1.8 cm) Weight: 2 oz (57 g) (approx.) with batteries Power: 1 AAA battery Memory: 1G internal memory

7 Dedicated Channels

  1. Heart Rate
  2. Pulse Oximetry
  3. Airflow (pressure based)
  4. Airflow (thermistor)
  5. Snore (derived from airflow)
  6. Respiratory Effort Belt (RIP)
  7. Body Position


SleepView works with the eCrystal PSG Web Portal, allowing treating physicians to initiate home sleep tests directly from their practices. Data from the SleepView is uploaded through the web portal to a network of professional technologists and for timely scoring and study interpretation.

Later reports with recommended treatment or follow-up are retrieved by the treating physician. This patient monitoring system allows physicians to provide a continuum of care.

For more information, visit

East Coast Lab Preps for Potential

Image1 East Coast Lab Preps for Potential

New York-based Winthrop Center made the difficult decision to switch database vendors in an effort to remain a step ahead of progress.

By any measure, the Winthrop Sleep Disorders Center, Garden City, NY, brings a wealth of experience to the relatively young field of sleep medicine. As Associate Director of the Winthrop Sleep Disorders Center, Claude Albertario, RPSGT, has helped the academic facility evolve from modest roots in the late 1980s to its current position as a respected laboratory in the Northeast.

Leveraging their knowledge and experience gained over more than two decades, the hospital recognized the need to expand in 2006. Albertario seized the opportunity to take a long, hard look at equipment needs. The investigation led the 26-year sleep veteran to only consider systems with database constructs that could change with the times.

Expand and Integrate

Later in 2008, the () came out with the H5 guideline that requires all , even for those not getting a study, to be amassed in a central database. As a result, going beyond a mere “ acquisition” system suddenly became a top priority. “As an academic institution, we typically like to keep things in-house, so we did not go with a web-based design,” says Albertario. “However, we did want the ability to interact from the outside through the Internet.”

Narrowing it down to two major database systems was relatively easy, since virtually everything else was cobbled together using third party databases. “We wanted something integrated and cohesive,” says Albertario. “The push over the edge was the solidarity of what the vendor showed us they could provide. The Grael High-Definition /EEG system and their nexus system had what we wanted, as well as the potential to grow as technology changed.”

As the first accredited and paperless laboratory in the world (1990), Winthrop officials knew early on that patients in the population-dense Long Island region wanted not only the best, but the latest. Cutting edge technology kept people coming back and fueled an expansion from four beds at the turn of the century, to eight beds in their new facility—with all recordings digitally recorded and managed. “Our institution has allowed us to plug into the archiving infrastructure used for and Cardiology, thereby allowing digitized, seamless, online archiving”, says Albertario.

Keeping the door open for new millennium technology gave Compumedics the slight advantage in a competitive market. Vendor representatives simply could not “fake it” at Winthrop. “They had to know their stuff,” confirms Albertario. Albertario questions vendors with vigor, because he knows that better equipment/database management leads to real-world results, such as decreased turnaround time for patients, while strongly appealing to referral sources. With Compumedics, the idea is to adapt to whatever challenges the industry may throw, while continuing to evolve technologically.

“You have to know sleep, and Compumedics has a good clinical understanding of what we do,” says Albertario. “We have not even finished installing all of the elements, such as digital audio and next-level digital video. The cameras are installed, but the higher-grade software is not written as of yet. I see where they are going with multi-screen video capabilities— one screen zoomed into the face, one into the legs, and all synchronized. They offer it in their EEG platform, so I know it is on the horizon as promised,” says Albertario.

Like a Hotel

Even though the market changes and reimbursement changes with it, Winthrop officials are poised to help the 7.5 million patients on geographic Long Island. Moreover, when these residents show up, the facility they walk into does not look like a laboratory in the slightest. “We literally built a hotel,” says Albertario. “One of the inspectors upon opening the door to a bedroom said, ‘You literally built the Winthrop Hotel.’ And, anybody who visits says the same thing.”

In a state that boasts “The city that never sleeps,” it is appropriate to also open “the hotel” for daytime guests. “We realized that a special segment of our market, and one that not many facilities touch upon, is the shift-worker market,” explains Albertario. “We staff the laboratory around the clock, and every day we have the ability to perform daytime PSGs for patients who sleep and work in this 24 hour New York market.”

Added services and capabilities mean that more in-depth clinical trials are on the horizon for Winthrop, a prospect that officials welcome in the coming years. “We believe we are perfectly poised to help the academic world, and the clinical realm of those New Yorkers who seek treatments and understanding of sleep disorders,” adds Albertario. “In fact, those who have recently visited from Australia and Europe, realize how much thought we have actually put into this facility and comment on our ability to keep all of the technology in the background, thusly allowing the design team’s calming and soothing accents and highlights to shine through. It has truly been a labor of love for all parties involved, says Albertario, a once-in-a-career kind of thing.

Claude Albertario, RPSGT, is associate director of the Sleep Disorders Center, Winthrop-University Hospital, Mineola, NY. Albertario began his career in Sleep Medicine at New York Hospital’s Institute of Chronobiology, after obtaining his undergraduate training in Psychobiology at SUNY Purchase. He obtained his RPSGT credential in 1990. As an early advocate of digital recording methods, he spearheaded the effort to become the first accredited, paperless sleep center in the world (1990). He helped form the New York State Society of Sleep Medicine in 1998, and presently serves as its secretary. His research interests revolve around his invention, z-ratio, a unified metric of sleep/wake ( Albertario is also a sleep apnea sufferer.

Man vs. Machine

Giving Automatic Scoring a Second Thought

Changes in technology have been exponential over the last two decades. The industry has advanced significantly by software innovation. In our to wholeheartedly welcome these enhancements to our processes, we sometimes forget that technology in the form of automation is meant to assist, not replace, our skilled technologists.

To automate or not to automate the scoring of sleep studies remains an ongoing debate in our industry and with software giants looking for ways to expand service offerings, the discussion is unlikely to end any time soon. While the notion of computerized analysis holds the promise of decreased staffing costs and increased efficiency, the reality of this premise is far less simplistic. One would no doubt question the rationale behind the insistence that a plane does not require a pilot in light of autopilot technology. Yet there exists a movement that would apply such logic, resulting in the ultimate redundancy of scoring technologists.

Whether as a primary or secondary resource, a registered technologist is essential for an accurate analysis of a patient study—period.

Sleep medicine is still very much a human-centered industry. With over 80 different currently documented, nothing comes close to replicating the and contextually- reliant assessments made possible by intensive, real-life training and experience.

Any sleep facility or homecare company that are uses automatic scoring as a one-for-one alternative to human analysis is neglecting the clinical aspect of patient care. What begins as a well-intentioned, cost-cutting measure emerges as a practice that risks undermining the credibility of an entire industry.

Like every industry, efforts to streamline business and make processes leaner are present in sleep medicine. What we are seeing, however, are moves to market such software as a turnkey solution—completely undermining the specialized nature of sleep scoring and the skills, knowledge and training that go into delivering this process. Laboratories that wish to remain reputable should take a critical look at automated scoring and question whether the absence of registered technologists involved in this process is putting patient care in jeopardy.

The Reality of No Regulations

None of this is to say that automated scoring is without value. On the contrary, it can prove to help the technologist become a more effective clinician—especially as automation matures and is improved.

Early detection, of irregularities, cost-efficiency and timely performance are just some of the benefits that automated systems bring to the table. To ignore these benefits would be denying progress for the sake of it. However, as the sleep industry is itself still coming of age, it remains vulnerable to unscrupulous business models that risk tarnishing an entire sector by making patient care an after thought.

Discount scoring services have gained significant traction with unsustainably low price points underwritten by unregistered and clinically inexperienced scoring staff. What such practices fail to respect is that scoring is far more than an objective matter of computation. There are qualitative factors that only trained, registered and clinically experienced technologists can assess.

With minimal regulation of the effects of automatic scoring currently in place, the credibility of an entire industry rests on education and best practices. While sleep medicine awaits increased governance to prevent such fly-by-nights from infiltrating a valuable healthcare service, automation could aid in the standardization of certain scoring processes. As long as laboratories incorporate the technology primarily as a labour- cutting device, it may prove to be detrimental.

Assist not Replace

Another area of concern lies in the homecare and sectors. Level III sleep studies are being conducted and automatic analysis is being used for diagnosing patients going against the recommendation to have a secondary review by a Registered Technologist.

In such a case, automated scoring is not only the primary but the solitary mode of analysis. But scoring software can never comprehensively analyze a Level III study—results must be reviewed and assessed against clinical correlation. Software should be viewed as serving a complementary function in that it assists an RPSGT, who later verifies the automated scores manually and cross-references them with clinically-obtained observations.

Furthermore, one must consider the long-term impact of reliance on scoring software. Crucial information is gathered in the RPSGT’s current role as a front-line, integrated health- care professional. The knowledge and skills that arise from working with different patients and various symptoms and conditions could be lost should technologists be removed from the equation.

Know What You’re Getting Into

Pharmacists have also found their profession impacted by automated “advances”. The automated dispensing model they were recently introduced to have raised questions about accountability as dispensing errors can put patients (and businesses) at risk.

It goes without saying that human error can, has and will occur in any facet of healthcare. To be certain, accuracy is one of the dominant selling points of many automated systems used in other fields. However, the rush to market this form of technology may fail because the underlying technology is immature and needs time to evolve as it finds a permanent home within the sleep medicine industry. Even if automatic scoring technology matures to the point that algorithms can account for most variables, it still cannot contend with even the common clinical problems and complexities that come with sleep disorders in order to perform accurate scoring.

This is not to say that automatic scoring has no place in the streamlining of sleep laboratory operations. On the contrary, as time progresses and automated software has been tried and tested perhaps this may well become a fixture in sleep facilities.

But with no current regulations governing the use of such software, it is imperative that we consider the following disclaimer: automatic scoring exists to assist technologists, not replace them.

Natalie Morin, RPSGT is president and CEO of Sleep Strategies Inc., a provider of professional scoring and consulting services for sleep disorders facilities worldwide.

Volume 6.1 : January 2011

ScreenShot0621 Volume 6.1 : January 2011
Inside Look
  • East Coast Lab Preps for Potential – C. Albertario
  • Ultra Light Type 3 Sleep Monitor – S. Weimer
  • Man Vs. Machine – N. Norin

BRPT members stunned by ABSM announcement to Launch New Exam for Sleep Technologists

has been notified that the Board of Directors of the American Academy of () has decided to develop a certification exam for sleep technologists to be administered through the American Board of (). The has indicated that the exam will be developed over the next six to twelve months.

Read Letter to BRPT President from ABSM announcing AASM Board decision

Read BRPT response to ABSM

Will the new credential be good for the field of technologists or the beginning of a controversial struggle for control.

View BRPT discussion forum

Scientists Measure the Cost of Missing a Nights Sleep

Scientists have added up the cost of losing a nights sleep. By measuring the actual number of calories the body expends to fuel an all-nighter versus a good night’s sleep, researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder calculate that a full night of sleep helps the body conserve as much energy as is in a glass of warm milk.

Missing a night of sleep forces the body to burn about an extra 161 calories than it would have during eight hours of sleep (not counting what’s used in moving around while awake), but it’s no weight-loss miracle: The body tries to make up for the deficit by saving more energy than usual the next day and night, researchers report in the January Journal of Physiology.

Energy Conservation as a Function of Sleep in Human Beings
One of the proposed functions of sleep is to conserve energy. We determined the amount of energy conserved by sleep in humans, how much more energy is expended when missing a night of sleep, and how much energy is conserved during recovery sleep. Findings support the hypothesis that a function of sleep is to conserve energy in humans. Sleep deprivation increased energy expenditure indicating that maintaining wakefulness under bed-rest conditions is energetically costly. Recovery sleep after sleep deprivation reduced energy use compared to baseline sleep suggesting that human metabolic physiology has the capacity to make adjustments to respond to the energetic cost of sleep deprivation. The finding that sleep deprivation increases energy expenditure should not be interpreted that sleep deprivation is a safe or effective strategy for weight loss as other studies have shown that chronic sleep deprivation is associated with impaired cognition and weight gain.

Read Full Article: Energy expenditure during sleep, sleep deprivation and sleep following sleep deprivation in adult humans

Sleep Health is one of the New Goals of Healthy People 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services has launched its Healthy People 2020 goals, and among the objectives set forth in its “ambitious, yet achievable” 10-year agenda for improving the nation’s health are substantial improvements in sleep health, respiratory disease outcomes, and levels of use.

Read Full Document Healthy People 2020: Department of Health and Human Services

Sleep Health
Sleep health is a new topic in the Healthy People initiative. The main focus is on increasing public knowledge of how adequate sleep and treatment of sleep disorders improves health, productivity, wellness, quality of life, and safety on the roads and in the workplace.

The public health burden is substantial, and awareness of the problem is lacking; thus, Healthy People 2020 seeks to provide a “well-coordinated strategy to improve sleep-related health.”

Objectives are to:

  • Increase the proportion of persons with symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea who seek medical care (from 25.5% to 28%).
  • Reduce the rate of vehicular crashes per 100 million miles traveled that are due to drowsy driving (from 2.7 to 2.1).
  • Increase the proportion of students in grades 9-12 who get sufficient sleep, defined as 8 hours or more on an average school night (from 30.9% to 33.2%).
  • Increase the proportion of adults who get sufficient sleep, defined as 8 or more hours for those aged 18-21 years, and 7 or more hours for those aged 22 years and older (from 69.6% to 70.9%).

Sleep is one of the three pillars to good health, along with exercise and balanced diet.

Source: HHS

A New Solution for CPAP Tubing – Hybernite

The ®  (ROC) System

Flashy  units and masks dominate the sleep technology landscape, but the right tubes can mean the difference between compliance and failure. engineers and market experts examined the sleep technology market and determined that their expertise in industrial tubing systems could bolster the all-too-common weaknesses found in  systems

After an exhaustive fact-finding period, designers narrowed down  tubing complaints to condensation and comfort. According to Rik Langerock, marketing manager for Plastiflex Healthcare, condensation in the breathing circuits was a persistent problem, and a key area where his Belgium-based company could make a difference.

“We spoke to many different people in the supply and value chain and it was condensation in the respiratory tubes that we found to be significant,” says Langerock. “A second related need was about bringing more comfortable air to the patient.”

Comfort usually means warmer and/or more humid air, and this is where Plastiflex is able to use its considerable expertise. Other factors such as mask materials and proper fit play a role, but Langerock and his team were determined to only tackle what they knew best. “You must understand what matches with your core competency as a company,” says Langerock. “Our core competence is in the design and manufacturing of  solutions.”

Plastiflex engineers ultimately came up with the ®  (ROC) System, which includes the proprietary ®  (HBT) and ® Power Supply Unit (PSU). The HBT connects to the PSU via a plug and-play connector, with copper wires embedded in the tubing wall. These wires generate heat that maintains air temperature inside the tube, ultimately warding off problematic condensation. The wires are positioned for uniform heating along the tube’s entire length, a system that avoids water droplets on the wall of the tube and the resulting accumulation of moisture.

Read full article: Tubes the Unsung Heroes