New Technology Suitable for Mass Screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

An international study led by researchers in Israel at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology has developed a technique that is suitable for mass screening to detect obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Dr. Joachim Behar, who heads the Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Laboratory (AIMLab) in the Technion led the study. According to Dr. Behar, this new technology called OxyDOSA uses oximetry and artificial intelligence (AI).

Many People do not Know they have Obstructive Sleep Apnea which is Treatable

Obstructive sleep apnea is treatable, but many people do not know they have it. The present method of diagnosing OSA is in sleep labs with polysomnography, but this is very expensive and is not suitable for mass screenings. Also, sleep labs are not readily available in all locations. Using questionnaires to diagnose OSA miss more than 15% of severe cases of OSA. This new OxyDOSA technology is far less expensive and easier to use, as it can be used for monitoring OSA at home. The results of this research were published in the Lancet Group’s open-access journal, EClinicalMedicine. The study also included researchers from Georgia Tech University and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, Oxford University in the UK and the Federal University of Sao Paolo in Brazil.

Method of the Study

Participants in the study were 887 adults from Sao Paulo, Brazil, who were tested for OSA with polysomnography (PSG). The OxyDOSA was trained to be able to tell the difference between people who did not have OSA and people who had OSA (mild, moderate and severe).

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects more than one in five people, especially those who are male and overweight or obese. Aging increases the risk for developing OSA. OSA is a condition whereby a person stops breathing many times during sleep and this leads to lower oxygen levels in the blood and brain. OA can even lead to choking. Many people do not know they have OSA, which is treatable by a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. For this reason it is important to have a way of detecting OSA on a large scale.

OSA Associated with Higher Risk for Dementia

Research has shown an association between OSA and the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The theory is that the brain suffers from a lack of oxygen every time that breathing stops and this constant oxygen depletion can lead to dementia. See our blog from May 10, 2018 that showed that 60% of people with Alzheimer’s disease also suffered from OSA. Also, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) issued a health advisory warning on June 3, 2018, emphasizing that poor or too little sleep may lead to Alzheimer’s dementia. In fact, the AASM suggests that early intervention to correct sleep disorders like OSA, might prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

OSA also Associated with Increased Risk for Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes and Accidents

Research has shown that OSA is also associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and accidents. OSA leads to poor sleep and people are often drowsy and tired during the day and are less alert when operating a motor vehicle or machinery.

Sleep is Important for Preserving Good Physical and Mental Health in Seniors

Most animals and humans sleep. In fact, humans spend about a third of their lives sleeping. The lack of proper sleep has been associated with many chronic and neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, it is important to diagnose and treat OSA in order to have good healthy sleep. See our blog post from July 13, 2018 about the importance of getting enough good quality sleep for seniors.

The Need for Short or Long-Term Care

Sometimes there is a need for you or your loved one to go to short or long-term skilled nursing care and rehabilitation facility for chronic or neurodegenerative diseases. The Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York offers expert care at the hands of a warm and caring staff.


It is important to be able to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in order to treat it and to prevent physical and brain diseases.

Leave a Comment