Digital health company ResApp Health (ASX: RAP) has unveiled a new smartphone app that can be used in the home to assess a person’s risk of obstructive sleep apnoea.
According to ResApp, the SleepCheck app uses clinically accurate algorithms to analyse the consumer’s breathing and snoring sounds during sleep. The app does not require any accessories or hardware in addition to the user’s smartphone.
“By simply placing their smartphone on their bedside table when they go to sleep, SleepCheck allows users to self-assess their risk of obstructive sleep apnoea, the first step in their path to treatment,” ResApp chief executive officer and managing director Tony Keating said.
“There are no wires, no attachments, and the user can sleep comfortably in their own bed. It is backed by a large clinical study, which demonstrated that the SleepCheck algorithms were able to accurately identify obstructive sleep apnoea when compared to a full at-home comprehensive sleep study,” he added.
SleepCheck is CE marked in the European Union as a Class I medical device and is expected to be soon listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.
The app is expected to launch for iOS on the App Store in Australia and the United Kingdom in this current second quarter, with availability in additional countries and an Android version to follow.
ResApp said pricing is “still to be determined”.
Sleep apnoea screening
Sleep apnoea is a condition in which air stops flowing to the lungs for 10 seconds or longer during sleep – this can happen more than 30 times per hour in severe cases.
According to ResApp, sleep apnoea is the most common sleep breathing disorder – even as studies show about 80% of sufferers are undiagnosed – and affects more than three in 10 men and nearly two in 10 women.
A recent 238-patient clinical study found that SleepCheck’s algorithms correctly identified patients with obstructive sleep apnoea with sensitivities of 85% for mild cases, 83% for moderate and 83% for severe conditions.
It also achieved specificities of 73%, 80% and 90%, respectively, when compared to an American Academy of Sleep Medicine type II sleep study performed simultaneously in the patient’s home.
Cardio Respiratory Sleep cardiologist and principal investigator of the SleepCheck validation study Dr Philip Currie said any person with a smartphone can be simply screened for obstructive sleep apnoea using the app.
“SleepCheck fills a unique and very important place in evaluation of obstructive sleep apnoea between questionnaire-based screening and use of increasingly complex types of sleep studies requiring multiple wires and sensors,” he said.
“This screening is especially important for patients with pre-existing conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, stroke, obesity, or type 2 diabetes where obstructive sleep apnoea is more likely, more severe and therefore more important to identify and treat,” Dr Currie said.
According to Deloitte Access Economics, obstructive sleep apnoea is estimated to cost the Australian economy $21.2 billion each year.
ResApp’s smartphone applications have attracted attention lately, with the company recently announcing its respiratory disease diagnostic testing app ResAppDx-EU will be integrated into a number of telehealth platforms.
These platforms are increasingly being used by healthcare businesses under new social distancing measures in response to COVID-19.