A novel, transportable, low-cost, real-time sleep apnea monitoring system primarily based on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) community

This article was originally published here

Med Biol Eng Comput. 14 January 2022. doi: 10.1007/s11517-021-02492-x. Online before print.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Continuous monitoring of respiratory activity plays a crucial role in the detection of respiratory diseases (SA, COPD, etc.). apnea (SA) is characterized by recurrent upper airway obstruction during sleep associated with arterial blood desaturation, sympathetic nervous system activation, and cardiovascular impairment. Untreated patients with SA have increased mortality rates compared to the general population. This study aims to develop a remote sleep apnea monitoring system to ensure patient safety and reduce the workload of doctors in the Covid-19 era.

METHODS: This study aims to develop a remote sleep apnea monitoring system to ensure patient safety and reduce physician workload. Our study focuses on a novel, portable, low-cost, real-time sleep apnea monitoring system utilizing the GSM network (GSM Shield Sim900a). The proposed system is a remote monitoring and patient tracking system to detect the apnea event in real-time and provide information about the sleeping position, pulse, respiratory and oxygen saturation to the specialists (SpO2) by establishing a direct contact. As soon as an abnormal condition is detected based on these parameters, the condition is relayed (immediately or in the form of short messages after sleeping) to the patient’s relatives, the doctor’s mobile phone or to the emergency call centers (EMZ) via a GSM network to monitor the case to be treated depending on the emergency condition of the patient.

RESULTS: A study group was formed of six patients to be monitored for apnea events (three males and three females) between the ages of 20 and 60 years. Patients in the study group have various degrees of sleep apnea (SA). All apnea events were detected and all patients were successfully alerted. The patient parameters were also successfully sent to all of the patient’s relatives. Patients who failed to recover from apnea were called via the CALL and informed of their sustained apnea event and told that an intervention was needed. The proposed system will be tested on six patients. The beginning moment of apnea was successfully detected and the SMS/CALL was successfully activated without any delay. During the tests, it was observed that some of the patients started breathing after the first SMS, but others needed the second or third SMS. According to the measurement result, the maximum breathing pause time for the patient is 46 s, and an SMS is sent every 15 s. In addition, in cases where the patient was out of breath for a long time, the CALL was actively sought from the patient’s loved ones, allowing him to intervene. The proposed monitoring system could be used in both clinical and home settings.

CONCLUSIONS: Monitoring a patient in real time makes it possible to intervene in the case of unexpected patient circumstances. The proposed work uses an accelerometer as a reliable method of monitoring and preventing sleep apnea. The developed device is not only more economical, comfortable and convenient than existing systems for the patients, but also for the doctors. Patients can easily use this device in their home environment, which could result in a more comfortable, easy-to-use, cost-effective and long-term respiratory monitoring system for healthcare applications.

PMID:35029814 | DOI:10.1007/s11517-021-02492-x

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