Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center at RWJUH Now Offers In-home Sleep Diagnostics to Patients
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Patients can now, in the comfort of their own home, take a first step to determine whether they have a sleep disorder.
The Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) has contracted for services with Watermark Medical, the developer of the Apnea Risk Evaluation System (ARES) to offer the latest technology available for in-home sleep diagnostics.
“For those who suspect a sleep disorder or those who don’t initially meet the criteria to qualify to have a comprehensive sleep study done, this is a convenient first step,” explains Anana Phifer, director of the Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center at RWJUH. “Think of this as a basic screening tool to help patients find out whether they have sleep apnea or other condition that could necessitate further study and treatment.”
Sleep Apnea, which affects more than 10 million Americans and is undiagnosed in an estimated additional 10 million, is characterized by loud snoring interrupted by frequent episodes of totally obstructed breathing. Clinically significant apnea is described as episodes lasting 10 seconds or longer and occurring 15 or more times an hour, less if associated with symptoms. Apnea patients may experience 30 to 300 such events per night. These episodes can reduce blood oxygen levels, causing the heart to pump harder and, over time, incur added risk levels for stroke and cardiac disorders.
This new technology now offers patients a cost-effective, easy to use, and reliable device for the home diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea in adults and children. “We want to help people sleep better, because improving sleep habits and behaviors impacts overall well-being,” says Anays M. Sotolongo, M.D., medical director of the Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center at RWJUH.
The in-home diagnostic must be prescribed by a doctor. “It’s available throughout the state of New Jersey, and, depending upon where the patient lives, we can deliver the diagnostics to the prescribing physician’s office - if that physician has partnered with RWJUH - for pick-up, or the patient can pick it up here then return it to the lab at RWJUH,” she explains.
The diagnostics equipment consists of an easy to apply headband-like tool that is worn around the forehead, a thermostat and sensors that are worn overnight. Patients bring results to a lab the next day, and results are generally reported within five days.
If results indicate sleep apnea or sleep disorder breathing, the patient may follow up with the Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center to schedule a comprehensive sleep study at the Center and/or treatment.
For more information about in-home sleep diagnostics now available at the Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center at RWJUH, call (732) 937-8683 or visit www.rwjuh.edu/medical_services/sleep_disorders_center.html.
About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is a 600-bed academic medical center and the principal hospital of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, N.J.
RWJUH is an innovative leader in advancing state-of-the-art care. Its Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care, from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation; cancer care; and women’s and children’s care, including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (www.bmsch.org).
The hospital is a Level I Trauma Center and serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.
RWJUH has earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety. It ranks among “America’s Best Hospitals,” according to U.S.News & World Report’s 2012 survey; it is the sixth consecutive year that RWJUH has achieved this prestigious ranking. Also in 2012, U.S.News & World Report ranked BMSCH among the nation’s “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has rated RWJUH among the nation's best comprehensive cancer centers. The Leapfrog Group rated RWJUH among the 50 exceptional U.S. hospitals, as published in Consumers Digest, and has given the hospital an “A” grade for safety and quality. Harvard University researchers, in a study commissioned by The Commonwealth Fund, identified RWJUH as one of the top 10 hospitals in the nation for clinical quality. RWJUH is a four-time recipient of the prestigious Magnet Award for Nursing Excellence