Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a debilitating, often life-threatening sleep disorder an estimated 800 thousand patients are being diagnosed with OSA per year in the USA and approximately 10% being treated.
Las Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) June 18, 2011
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 45 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a disorder that causes a person to briefly and repeatedly stop breathing during sleep. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a debilitating, often life-threatening sleep disorder an estimated 800 thousand patients are being diagnosed with OSA per year in the USA and approximately 10% being treated.
According to Jim Boyle a Registered Respiratory Therapist and Sleep Disorder Specialist with 20 years clinical experience has treated hundreds of OSA suffers and is the genesis behind NuLungs.com. People with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and Type II diabetes. Boyle founded the Company to offer a convenient and cost effective alternative to diagnosing and treating sleep apnea patients.
“With traditional sleep lab tests you go into a facility, they hook you up to a series of wires and then ask you to sleep ‘normally,’ in a strange place and knowing that people are watching you,” he said. “Who can sleep like that?”
NuLungs.com offers an at-home alternative to traditional sleep tests that reduces the cost of diagnosis and treatment by nearly 80 percent, Boyle said.
“Our at home test is safe, effective and Medicare approved,” Boyle said. “It requires a physician prescription, but it gets shipped directly to their home anywhere in the country and comes with a step-by-step, easy-to-understand DVD tutorial.”
There is also a hotline patients can call to talk to a Registered Respiratory Therapist or Sleep Disorder Specialist if they have any trouble setting up their at home test. NuLungs is a certified supplier of the at-home sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment technology.
“The technology has been out there. We’re just one of the first companies to effectively utilize and streamline the diagnosis and treatment process for patients on a national level,” Boyle said.
The test comes with a pre-programmed recording device, which measures RDI (Respiratory Disturbance Index), AHI (Apnea Hypopnea Index) as well as ODI (Oxygen Desaturation Index), Heart Rate, Body Position, Snoring Intensity and Sleep Staging, all pre-connected to the recording device. NuLungs also provides a pre-paid Priority Mail envelope for patients to send the test back to its facility after it has been taken, he said.
Once the test is received by NuLungs, the raw data about the patient’s night sleep will be downloaded directly from the machine and a sleep disorder specialist or physician will analyze the results and produce a report with suggested recommendations for treatment or therapy in less than 24 hours, Boyle said.
The sleep test machine measures the patient’s respiratory effort, airflow, pulse rate and oxygenation through three non-invasive sensors, he said.
The test results will indicate the patient’s heart rate and blood pressure during sleep, how many times the patient stopped or slowed breathing, how long the patient slept, even how long the machine was worn, Boyle said.
“The whole process from screening at risk patients, to diagnosis and treatment can be done through NuLungs without ever leaving the comfort of your home if you don’t want to,” Boyle said.
With NuLungs, Boyle is very familiar with working with insurance reimbursement. He previously owned and operated a Durable Medical Equipment Company for 8 years and has a working knowledge of the claims process. According to Boyle, “increased awareness of home sleep technology will need to be available in the very near future to accurately diagnose sleep apnea and provide treatment to those suffers to prevent further health risks.”
“It’s definitely also a safety issue and potential liability,” Boyle said. “The state Department of Transportation in Nevada and other states have started requiring at-risk drivers, commercial pilots to get tested for sleep apnea and many of them couldn’t afford the expensive costs traditionally associated with sleep lab tests. I wanted to offer them a lower cost alternative.”
In some cases, drivers need to show proof of testing, diagnosis and treatment in order to get their medical cards and commercial driver’s licenses back, Boyle said.
Going into a facility sleeping overnight and then going back for diagnosis and treatment also wasn’t a plausible scenario for most suffers of OSA who travel and are only home for a week at a time, as well as the unfamiliar surroundings of a Sleep Lab.
“The at-home method is perfect for their lifestyle, and is being accepted as a reliable alternative to traditional sleep apnea tests by physicians and examiners,” he said. “Sometimes a traditional in-lab sleep test is necessary, but for most patients this is an even more viable option.”
Right now, any physician can write a prescription for the at-home sleep apnea test, Boyle said.
“Our on-staff physicians are only licensed to write prescriptions for the tests for patients in Nevada, but we can and have worked with physicians in other states on behalf of patients as well,” he said.
Individuals who think they might suffer from sleep apnea can take a free screening exam on NuLungs website, Boyle said.
“The results of the screening will be read by our certified staff who can then issue a prescription form for the at-home test to help with diagnosis of the disorder,” he said. “We have taken an approach to utilize a certain element of telemedicine, which is where the medical industry is going. Patient’s can do the assessment, talk to a specialist, get diagnosed and receive a prescription for the at-home test and even the at-home treatment all from the comfort of their home. We’re trying to revolutionize the sleep test industry.”