Many years ago I agreed to attend a trade show with a friend whom, while I did not know it at the time, suffered from sleep apnea.
When we arrived at our hotel room he unloaded his gear, which included a breathing system that ran throughout the night, filling the room with sound. He got a good night's sleep. I didn't. What must his wife's life be like, I thought.
Ignoring the condition, I learned later, is not an option. Sleep is interrupted, you're tired all day, it's bad news.
My friend was taking the standard treatment, called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP. The device pushes pressurized air down the throat during sleep, so apnea won't occur. But as I said, it's noisy.
The device to the right, the ResMed S9, is the latest weapon in the fight against sleep apnea. It has a SIM card in it, which sends regular reports via SMS to a doctor or clinic about how the patient is sleeping. Continuous monitoring not only makes patients more compliant, it minimizes the intervention they need.
Getting a detailed diagnosis and treatment plan through a sleep center can be a real pain. You're placed in a strange room and closely monitored all night. I can't sleep that way.
With devices like the S9, this monitoring is extended into the home, it's made continuous, and once you're diagnosed you're not only protected but evaluated. Knowing precisely how, when and why your sleep is interrupted by breathing troubles helps your family sleep better at night, too.
I hope my friend gets one of these soon.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com