DiagnOSAS got started when we realised that the current practices in detecting sleep apnea leave much to be desired. We found that 20% to 35% of the patients referred to hospital with a suspician of sleep apnea need not have gone. At the same time a large number of people suffering from sleep apnea remain undiagnosed. Furthermore, the currently available detection methods are expensive, time consuming and uncomfortable.
We developed the OSAsense platform: An accessible, fast, and cost effective screening tool for sleep apnea. Our primary goal: find patiënts with a significant risk of sleep apnea faster, cheaper and simpler.
DiagnOSAS aims to practice evidence-based medicine and adhere to the guidelines of good clinical practice. In addition, we aim to fulfil a role in the education of general practitioners and patients regarding basic sleep hygiene measures and the signs, symptoms, diagnostics and treatment of sleep apnea.
The OSAsense service consists of a validated online questionnaire as well as a continuous overnight registration of the haemoglobin saturation level in the blood (pulse oximetry). Through the combination of this data, the OSAsense algorithm is able to identify sleep apnea with a sensitivity and specificity of ~100% and >70%, respectively. Using OSAsense before referring patients to hospital has a number of significant benefits. Patients with a low risk of sleep apnea need not undergo expensive and inconvenient testing. Patients with a significant risk can be referred quickly and confidently to proper diagnosis and treatment.
In March 2016, a pilot study was initiated in the general practice to validate the OSAsense algorithm in approximately 150 patients. The study was approved by the local medical ethical committee (METC) and is registered in the Dutch Trial Register (NTR5786). Financial support (€50 k) was received from the Dutch health insurance corporation Menzis to conduct the study (Pioneers in Healthcare Voucher 2015). The initial OSAsense algorithm was developed in collaboration with the sleep centre from the Medical Spectrum Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, based on data from over 3.500 patients.