Mobile Apps Assist Physicians with Sleep Screening, Patients with Compliance

posted May 22, 2015, 11:41 AM by Admin SRSAN   [ updated May 22, 2015, 11:49 AM ]

A new mobile app (MySleep101) has been developed by a neurologist and a board-certified sleep physician at the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep. The learning application offers healthcare teams that are not trained in sleep medicine basic information about the 7 most common conditions resulting in poor sleep quality: sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, hypersomnia, circadian rhythm disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and parasomnia. The app covers signs and symptoms, risk factors, treatment options and management strategies that physicians can discuss with their patients at the screening stage - however the authors caution that this is an educational, not a diagnostic tool and that this initial assessment should be followed by referral to a board-certified sleep specialist in cases with a suspected sleep disorder. Both MySleep101 and MySleep101 Lite, which is available for free, are available through the Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures offices or the AppStore for iOS devices.

Help is also on the way for patients struggling with CPAP use. A new study shows that users of Phillips Respironics' SleepMapper app were 22 percent more adherent to continuous positive airway pressure therapy than non-users. SleepMapper, which is available both as a mobile app and website platform, gives patients access to the usage data generate by their CPAP machine, then presents patients with feedback and specific goals which attempt to increase adherence through a behavior-changing protocol called Motivational Enhancement Therapy. Using the benchmark compliance standards established by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (which require that the patient uses the device four or more hours per night over 70 percent of the nights across a 30-day consecutive period within the first 90 days of treatment), the study found that only 56 percent of the non-SleepMapper users met the CMS guidelines (which is typical for the industry); however in the group using the SleepMapper app, a surprising 78 percent of patients met CMS adherence criteria - a difference of 22 percent. The greatest effect was noted in patients classified as "struggling", who used CPAP for an average of less than 2 hours a night in the first two weeks of treatment: in that particular group, CMS compliance was 33% for SleepMapper users, compared to 11 percent of non-users. Given that the impact of CPAP therapy on health outcomes tends to be proportional to the duration of use and that proof of compliance based on CMS standards is now required for insurance reimbursement, SleepMapper technology may provide critically needed assistance to patients struggling to meet these criteria and successfully implement CPAP therapy in their daily routine.