New smartphone system to evaluate sleep disorders while awake -- Ben Gurion University innovation

January 09, 2017

BEER-SHEVA, Israel...January 9, 2017 - Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have developed a new system to assess obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) severity while a patient is awake and analyze sleep-wake activity, using his or her smartphone.

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, it is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from the malady, with 80 percent of moderate to severe OSA cases undiagnosed.

"We've developed technology that could help diagnose OSA and sleep disorders in a convenient way," says Dr. Yaniv Zigel, head of BGU's Biomedical Signal Processing Research Lab (BSP) and Prof. Ariel Tarasiuk, Ph.D., head of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Unit at Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva. "The audio-analysis application can record speech signals from awake subjects. Now, we will be able to get a fast, OSA severity estimation without an overnight sleep study."

Currently, patients are diagnosed using polysomnography (PSG) to record brain waves, blood oxygen level, heart rate, breathing, and eye and leg movements overnight. The new system, which does not require contact sensors, can be installed onto a smartphone or other device that utilizes ambient microphones. It both analyzes speech while the user is awake and records and evaluates overnight breathing sounds using new technology that is simpler to use and significantly less expensive than PSG.

"All sleep studies conducted in laboratory or at-home settings currently require subjects to be connected to numerous electrodes and sensors," explains Eliran Dafna, a BGU Ph.D. student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering who developed the breathing-sound system in the BSP lab. "Processing the data on sleep-wake states and corresponding aspects of physiology is time-consuming, tedious and costly because of its complexity and the need for technical expertise. The market is begging for a better solution."

Researchers have tested the new speech and breathing sound analysis systems on more than 350 subjects, along with PSG, in laboratory and at-home settings. They were able to reliably evaluate sleep quality parameters such as sleep-wake activity, snoring severity and OSA using this system.

"We are excited about this non-contact sleep tracking system, which does not require patients to wear uncomfortable monitoring equipment on their body," says Prof. Tarasiuk. "This application can also be very useful for CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine users who want to check the effectiveness of their sleep apnea therapy."

Devices incorporating the speech-analysis system may be portable or stationary, and could be available also in public locations or clinics. The researchers are moving forward to commercialize the system.
-end-
About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion's vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University's expertise locally and around the globe. As Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) looks ahead to turning 50 in 2020, AABGU imagines a future that goes beyond the walls of academia. It is a future where BGU invents a new world and inspires a vision for a stronger Israel and its next generation of leaders. Together with supporters, AABGU will help the University foster excellence in teaching, research and outreach to the communities of the Negev for the next 50 years and beyond. Visit vision.aabgu.org to learn more.

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Related Sleep Articles from Brightsurf:

Size and sleep: New research reveals why little things sleep longer
Using data from humans and other mammals, a team of scientists including researchers from the Santa Fe Institute has developed one of the first quantitative models that explains why sleep times across species and during development decrease as brains get bigger.

Wind turbine noise affects dream sleep and perceived sleep restoration
Wind turbine noise (WTN) influences people's perception of the restorative effects of sleep, and also has a small but significant effect on dream sleep, otherwise known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, a study at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows.

To sleep deeply: The brainstem neurons that regulate non-REM sleep
University of Tsukuba researchers identified neurons that promote non-REM sleep in the brainstem in mice.

Chronic opioid therapy can disrupt sleep, increase risk of sleep disorders
Patients and medical providers should be aware that chronic opioid use can interfere with sleep by reducing sleep efficiency and increasing the risk of sleep-disordered breathing, according to a position statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

'Short sleep' gene prevents memory deficits associated with sleep deprivation
The UCSF scientists who identified the two known human genes that promote 'natural short sleep' -- nightly sleep that lasts just four to six hours but leaves people feeling well-rested -- have now discovered a third, and it's also the first gene that's ever been shown to prevent the memory deficits that normally accompany sleep deprivation.

Short sleep duration and sleep variability blunt weight loss
High sleep variability and short sleep duration are associated with difficulties in losing weight and body fat.

Nurses have an increased risk of sleep disorders and sleep deprivation
According to preliminary results of a new study, there is a high prevalence of insufficient sleep and symptoms of common sleep disorders among medical center nurses.

Common sleep myths compromise good sleep and health
People often say they can get by on five or fewer hours of sleep, that snoring is harmless, and that having a drink helps you to fall asleep.

Sleep tight! Researchers identify the beneficial role of sleep
Why do animals sleep? Why do humans 'waste' a third of their lives sleeping?

Does extra sleep on the weekends repay your sleep debt? No, researchers say
Insufficient sleep and untreated sleep disorders put people at increased risk for metabolic problems, including obesity and diabetes.

Read More: Sleep News and Sleep Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.