Mobile app guarantees to be a device for danger evaluation of obstructive sleep apnea

A mobile app has been shown to be feasible to identify obstructive sleep apnea risk and associated symptoms and to promote treatment recommendations in an outpatient cohort.

A mobile application developed for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) risk assessment proved feasible to identify risk factors for OSA in an outpatient cohort. The results were recently published in the Journal of Biology and Craniofacial Research.

Despite a high prevalence and known symptoms such as snoring, breathing pauses and excessive daytime sleepiness, the diagnosis of OSA remains largely underestimated and is subsequently left untreated.

Because symptoms appeared at night and may not have been noticed by patients, the gold standard for diagnosing OSA, polysomnography, was found by researchers to be costly, tech-sensitive, and largely unavailable at home, all potential roadblocks amid the pandemic.

“Therefore, questionnaire-based OSA risk screening can be a viable, inexpensive and readily available alternative to early screening, especially in developing countries,” they added. “Over the years, several mobile health applications have also been developed for OSA assessment…. But these are complicated commercial applications and are mostly aimed at the adult age group. “

When developing their own digital OSA risk assessment tool with preliminary questionnaires and age-specific standardized questionnaires (STOP-BANG and PSQ), the researchers evaluated the validity, feasibility and use of the mobile app in a pilot study with 200 patients (100 adults, 100th). Children) from the Orthodontic Ambulance of Government Dental College in Delhi, India.

In the study, internal validation using manual and mobile-based methods was performed on 30 randomized patients, with nonparametric tests assessing the statistical differences between OSA risk and non-OSA risk variables.

From the cohort, 98 of the 100 adults were included in the final analysis, in which the prevalence of OSA risk was 21.4%; 11 patients had a low, 9 a medium and 1 high risk of OSA. Several symptoms by the mobile app were also significantly linked to risk of OSA in adults:

  • Neck circumference (P = 0.0001)
  • Waist circumference (P = .001)
  • Body mass index (P = 0.008)
  • Daytime sleepiness, headache, and mouth breathing (P = 0.0001)

In particular, the results of the binary regression analysis showed that the neck circumference had the greatest influence on the risk of OSA in adults (odds ratio [OR], 3.69; 95% CI 1.40-9.72.

An 8 percent prevalence of OSA risk was also found in the 100 children aged 6 to 18 years studied, with risk factors for dry mouth on waking, daytime sleepiness, mouth breathing, and night wetting.

“Standardized preventive management advice and orthodontic interventions were suggested to patients with low OSA risk, while moderate to high risk were referred to a sleep specialist.”

In conclusion, the study authors said that the inexpensive tool for self-assessment, early and awareness-raising in pandemic times can be advocated. “The future updated versions can include preventive modules and real-time coordination with the nearest sleep clinics and specialists.”


Kapoor P, Chowdhry A, Sengar P, Mehta A. Development, testing and feasibility of a custom mobile application for risk assessment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): a hospital-based pilot study. J Biol Craniofac Res. Published online November 11, 2021. doi: 10.1016 / j.jobcr.2021.11.004

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