For decades, the only way for patients to find out whether they had sleep apnea was at a sleep center. That meant staying overnight in a strange bed, hooked up to more than a dozen sensors, for a study that tested for several possible sleep-related conditions simultaneously. There was no guarantee of a successful diagnosis on the first try, but insurance companies rarely covered more than one night of expensive testing.

The inconvenience was so profound that millions of Americans with potentially untreated sleep apnea skipped testing altogether, risking heart attack, stroke and a host of other dangerous health effects.

Testing alternatives

Today, doctors, patients and insurers have an alternative. Home sleep tests can be delivered to a patient’s door and conducted without a technician. With the AccuSom home sleep test, results can be delivered wirelessly to a physician the next morning.

These tests cost a fraction of a sleep center test, but they’re just as accurate, and they only test for sleep apnea. All told, that means far fewer sensors, more nights of testing if needed and faster treatment.

“Home sleep tests can be delivered to a patient’s door and conducted without a technician.”

Habit and habitat

Maloy Shrout, a Pennsylvania resident, learned that she’d been gasping for breath in her sleep a few years ago. Her physician suspected she might have sleep apnea, and after a few nights of AccuSom home sleep testing, she received a positive diagnosis.

“We’re creatures of habit. We want our own pillows and our own beds. I think it would have skewed the results more if I’d gone to a sleep lab because I wouldn’t have been as comfortable as I was in my own home setting,” Shrout said.

More Americans than ever before are having experiences like Shrout’s, said Dr. Michael P. Coppola, Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Compliance Officer at NovaSom, which administers thousands of sleep tests monthly in the United States.

“We prevent hundreds of unnecessary deaths, if not more, every year by making sleep apnea diagnosis easy and accessible to people,” Coppola said.