Sleep Industry Leads the Charge in Telehealth Adoption; New Data Highlights Room for Growth

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EnsoData releases findings from second market research survey on COVID-19’s impact on national sleep centers

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Our hope is that this new data helps inform the current state of the sleep industry and provides a clear pathway for how sleep centers can improve the present gaps and opportunities in patient care.

EnsoData, the company simplifying the process for analyzing the human body’s waveforms to diagnose health conditions, today released its second report on COVID-19’s impact on national sleep centers. Findings show that while sleep centers are rapidly adopting new strategies and technologies to diagnose and treat sleep disorders during COVID-19 - with 52 percent adopting telehealth and 96 percent adopting at-home testing - some in the industry are still struggling to keep their doors open, their staff fully employed, and their patients fully cared for during the prolonged pandemic. And doors need to remain open, because sleep health is a topic that can’t go unattended.

“Sleep apnea is a condition that plagues nearly one billion people worldwide, costs the U.S. nearly $150 billion annually, and is associated with increased risk for high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, stroke, depression, and complications with medications, surgeries and pregnancies. We simply can’t afford to fall behind in treating patients,” said Chris Fernandez, CEO of EnsoData. “Our hope is that this new data helps inform the current state of the sleep industry and provides a clear pathway for how sleep centers can improve the present gaps and opportunities in patient care.”

Key findings and trends to note include:

  • Sleep centers can do a better job of meeting their patients where they are - at home. Surprisingly, 44 percent of sleep clinics surveyed did not add telehealth offerings in 2020. Telehealth has been a boom for patient access and education in simple visits for set-up instructions and basic troubleshooting. Looking forward, respondents believe it will remain a crucial asset for increasing patient access to sleep medicine services, so lingering clinics must adapt quickly.
  • Offering home sleep apnea tests (HSATs) is the new norm. HSATs are the future of early diagnostics and 83 percent of sleep clinics reported offering reusable HSATs this year. Reusable and disposable HSATs help clinics meet COVID-19 social distancing restrictions and keep staff and patients safe.
  • Some clinics struggled to keep staff employed. While 38 percent of sleep centers experienced no changes in staffing and 7 percent even saw staff increases, 29 percent of locations were forced to furlough staff, and the remaining 26 percent had to cut hours or force PTO usage.
  • Staff flexibility is crucial - and possible. Of the clinics surveyed, 42 percent shifted to a mixed remote/onsite or fully remote staffing and delivery model. Even further, of those, 88 percent reported that remote work has had no material impact on the clinic staff's ability to collaborate, achieve objectives, and move the practice forward during COVID, highlighting an opportunity to further de-couple the delivery of care from localized to virtualized and national access and care models.

“If we’re going to ensure that everyone has access to quality and affordable treatment, sleep centers must continue to lead the charge in embracing technology and change, such as adapting to telehealth and providing flexibility for staff,” continued Fernandez. “The sleep industry can help lead the way for other specialties’ adoption of better standards to improve outcomes across the board for communities around the U.S. and globe.”

To download and view the full data report, visit ensodata.com/landing-pages/covid-19-survey-analysis-and-the-evolving-sleep-center. This survey was conducted in Nov. 2020.

ABOUT ENSODATA
EnsoData simplifies the process for reading and analyzing the human body to quickly and accurately diagnose conditions, starting with sleep. Using artificial intelligence, EnsoData’s technology analyzes billions of data points collected from sensors placed throughout the entire human body to deliver the most accurate diagnoses in an easy-to-read report for clinicians. Heartbeats on an EKG, eye movements through an EOG, and brain waves through an EEG all output as waveform data; EnsoData leads the world in reading and understanding waveforms. Learn more at ensodata.com.

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Tess Pawlisch
EnsoData
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