Sleep disorders affect a large percentage of the population and are an under-recognised problem.  The most common sleep disorder is Obstructive Sleep Apnea syndrome (OSA), which is characterised by the repetitive upper airway collapse during sleep.  Researchers at The University of Queensland (UQ) have developed an elegant approach that uses a mobile phone platform to screen OSA patients.  This presents a more user-friendly alternative to the current sleep laboratory method for diagnosis, using polysomnography, a test that involves monitoring the heart, lung and brain activity as well as arm and leg movements and blood oxygen levels.

Snoring is one of the earliest symptoms of OSA. Patients with sleep apnea often report years of snoring prior to the onset of OSA-related symptoms. However, although almost all OSA patients snore, not all snorers have OSA.

UQ researchers have also developed sleep classification techniques to account for inter-subject variability (age, gender etc). In addition, they have shown the impact of serious co-morbidities, such as cardiac disease, COPD and mental health conditions, on the measurement of sleep conditions and have developed appropriate approaches for how to account for them.


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