VirtualSleep.org shares how sleep lab equipment for both in-lab sleep studies and home sleep testing meet the needs of both patients and providers to guarantee accurate test results.
What is sleep lab equipment?
Sleep lab equipment enables sleep lab doctors and patients at home to perform sleep studies. Data collected allows doctors to diagnose sleep apnea or another sleep-related disorder. Once a diagnosis is reached, patients are given a treatment plan to correct the issue.
In-Lab Sleep Equipment
In-lab studies look at several different factors. Sleep lab equipment and tests ensure that patients receive the proper diagnosis. These tests include: electroencephalogram (EEG), electromyogram (EMG), electrooculogram (EOG), and electrocardiogram (EKG).
An electroencephalogram (EEG) measures electrical activity within the brain through sensors attached to the scalp. Tracking electronic impulses while patients sleep is valuable in determining the quality of sleep and detecting abnormal patterns, which may indicate that a disorder is present.
An electromyogram (EMG) analyzes electrical activity in muscle movements. Even while patients are resting, muscles may still be active. EMG tests identify face twitches, teeth grinding, leg movements, and more. Additionally, an electromyogram shows when a patient has entered REM sleep.
An electrooculogram (EOG) follows eye movements during sleep. This test compares the difference in electrical charge between the front and back of the eye. Counting eye movements is one of the most important evaluation methods as it can determine when a patient has moved in or out of REM sleep.
Electrocardiogram (EKG) tests enable sleep lab physicians to measure heart rate and rhythm to determine the degree of sleep apnea. Understanding sleep apnea severity can help doctors develop a treatment plan that is suitable for the specific patient.
Sleep Lab Equipment for Home Sleep Testing
Home sleep testing leverages more streamlined sleep lab equipment compared to in-lab sleep studies. Most sleep apnea cases can be diagnosed right from a patient’s home. Given the advances in telemedicine, doctors and patients both benefit from home sleep testing. Units, like DreamClear, use sensors and applications to communicate results directly with doctors.
A nasal cannula increases oxygen flow to improve breathing, especially during sleep. Restricted airflow can negatively impact the quality of sleep, in turn impacting test results. A restful sleep is critical to maximizing test results, and having a nasal cannula allows sleep apnea patients to sleep more comfortably.
A pulse oximeter, also called a pulse ox, measures oxygen saturation in red blood cells. The sensor is attached to the patient’s finger and records how well blood is flowing throughout the body. Low circulation can affect sleep quality. The higher the saturation the better, with good scores being those above 90%. This differs from pO2 value which is measured by obtaining blood from an artery. While doctors can help patients determine what value is needed, a good pO2 value is within the 60-65 range.
Save Time And Money with At-Home Sleep Lab Equipment
Sleep labs are looking to optimize operations around the country. Given that sleep apnea affects over 26% of adults ages 30-70 in the United States, bringing the sleep lab equipment home for a home sleep test can save both patients and providers time and money.
A home sleep test device that’s easy-to-use and connects patients and doctors with a smartphone application can be the difference in quickly reaching a sleep apnea diagnosis. To learn more about using DreamClear™, start a conversation with our team today.