Many sleep centers are overwhelmed by the number of patients waiting to have Polysomnographic Testing conducted. Perhaps your facility is understaffed or has lengthy wait times. And no matter how “home like” your sleep center is, it is still an unfamiliar environment that may make some patients anxious. A significant number of patients are hesitant to participate in Polysomnographic testing. They worry they will not be able to fall asleep, or are uncomfortable with the idea of someone “observing” their sleep habits. Some are so anxious they remain untested and undiagnosed.
Home sleep testing equipment has been in use for many years. In the privacy of a patient’s own bedroom simple monitors record a patient’s blood oxygen saturation levels as well as other factors to aide in the diagnosis of sleep apnea. In 2007, the American Academy of Sleep medicine allowed for the use of portable monitoring for a select group of people. You may be a candidate for a home study if:
Home testing may be as much as 80% less than the in-lab procedure. Many insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, also cover home testing for eligible patients. If your sleep center provides you with home testing equipment, then Registered Sleepers can familiarize your patients with its use and interpret the results. This is specialized testing, and still requires reading by a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist who can expertly interpret the results.
Your doctor may be able to diagnose sleep disturbance from home testing alone. Or, a physician may use home testing to rule out sleep disorders and determine if more advanced Polysomnographic testing is needed. Home sleep studies will not replace the “gold standard” of a professional Polysomographic study. But, it can be a useful screening tool for patients who are unwilling or unable to be tested in a sleep laboratory.