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Sleep Apnea Testing Done at Home – Less Expensive Than Sleep Clinics Solution

Posted May 24 2010 9:14am 1 Comment

If you look at the expense of the “sleep labs”, this can make sense, plus you don’t need to sleep in a strange bed for a couple nights.  The data is downloaded and image analyzed.  This device has been approved by the FDA since 2004.  

Sleep apnea causes an individual to stop breathing at night and is linked to heart disease.  It is a pretty dramatic change with using the a machine and a feeling of refreshment. 

The convenience of an “at home” test may lead more patients in this direction for testing.  Once you have been diagnosed, there’s some choices for the next step with treatment.  Below are a couple alternatives to a machine one can also wear every night.  BD

MENTION health care reform and the image that instantly comes to mind is a big government program. But there is another broad transformation in health care under way, a powerful force for decentralized innovation. It is fueled in good part by technology — low-cost computing devices, digital sensors and the Web.

image

The trend promises to shift a lot of the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease from hospitals and specialized clinics, where treatment is expensive, to primary care physicians and patients themselves — at far less cost.

To glimpse the business opportunity — and the challenge — at the forefront of this emerging, decentralized health care market, let’s look at a start-up in the field of sleep medicine.

The start-up, Watermark Medical , offers an at-home device and a Web-based service for diagnosing sleep apnea. Characterized by snoring and pauses in breathing, sleep apnea is a serious health problem that often goes undiagnosed.

The patient wears the device for a night or two, then returns the device to the doctor’s office. The data is downloaded to a personal computer, then sent on the Web to a network of sleep professionals, one of whom delivers a report to the physician within 48 hours, with a diagnosis and suggested treatment. The physicians typically charge from $250 to $450 a test, and a doctor collects $100 to $150 of that. “It’s a new revenue stream for the physician,” said Mr. Alvarez, Watermark’s president.

Watermark also charges the physicians $4,000 for each digital headband.

So far, 35,000 patients have been tested using the Watermark device, with more than 1,000 doctors prescribing about 4,000 tests a month.

Comments (1)
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This sounds interesting. I actually haven't heard of this topic before regarding sleep apnea test and I'm fortunate to drop by here in your page and read of your article that I'm pretty sure would not just help my sleeping disorder but including  many of those out there who suffers to this common problem. Watermark medical treatment sounds good and I think this would really help sleeping disordered people to have the best comfort zone as they sleep. Check this out! <gt;
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