The Easy At-Home Test That Could Save Your Life
By L. Markham McHenry, D.O.
If your physician thinks you have obstructive sleep apnea, a serious condition that affects about 18 million people, chances are he’ll order a sleep study.
It’s what’s known as a polysomnogram, and to be perfectly honest, it’s not fun.
You’ll have to sleep overnight in a sleep center or a hospital. The room may look like a bedroom, but it’s nowhere near the comfortable bed you have at home.
The technician will place a large head strap and tape several wires to your scalp and forehead. You’ll also be hooked up to an electrocardiogram machine, with several more wires taped to your chest.
When you actually do get drowsy and doze off, that very technician will be watching you. All night long.
It sounds like a completely normal, relaxing experience, right?
Not so much. In fact, most people are so averse to undergoing a sleep study that they refuse it all together. So they’re potentially walking around undiagnosed as sleep apnea continues to wreak havoc on their health.
Meet the WatchPAT.
Wearable technology has come a long way in the last few years. Just think about all of the health and fitness trackers available. And now diagnosing sleep apnea can be done the same way.
The FDA-approved WatchPAT is virtually changing the way we diagnose sleep apnea.
It takes all of five minutes to learn how to use it. It’s small, comfortable, and can be used at home. You can sleep in your own bed and go to bed when you usually do.
Using a small wristband, two finger probes, and a lead attached to the chest, the WatchPAT isn’t cumbersome and will not restrict your movement.
You can turn from side to side, lie on your back or your stomach, and it won’t disturb your sleep. You can even get up and go to the bathroom without having to remove the device.
The WatchPAT is portable so you can bring it with you while you’re away on business if your physician wants to run the test then, for example. You can also repeat the test if necessary and it won’t be an inconvenience.
The WatchPAT analyzes your quality of sleep, stages of sleep, your sleep position, oxygen levels, heart rhythm, and episodes of hypopnea (shallow breathing) or sleep apnea (stop and start breathing).
The WatchPAT has the lowest failure rate of all at-home sleep apnea devices too. Clinical trials also prove that the WatchPAT is as effective as sleep lab studies.
Plus, unlike lab sleep studies, insurance will likely cover it and it’s significantly less expensive!