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IDT and BresoTec develop new method of sleep apnea testing for aviation professionals

Posted by: IDTadmin | Posted on: September 30th, 2015 | 0 Comments

Aviation professionals (pilots, cabin crew, ATC) are exposed to conditions that cause fatigue, including extended sitting, operating across time zones, and working through their regular sleep schedules. These factors combined with irregular sleep locations make it extremely difficult to get adequate rest.

Without proper rest, the body develops defensive mechanisms that are intended for normal “awake” activities. We also develop fatigue, which increases over time.

Sleep apnea is a condition where the body temporarily stops breathing due to blockage of the throat. The person must awaken and voluntarily begin breathing again. This continuous disruption of sleep leads to fatigue and, if untreated, can lead to more serious ailments.

The problem has been to properly (accurately and cost-effectively) diagnose apnea. The current method of testing usually required monitoring sleep patterns at a sleep clinic. Several sensors are attached to the body to determine the person’s sleeping patterns, breathing, and to determine the level of apnea, if it exists.

   

Conventional Polysomnograph Test for Sleep Apnea (left) versus diagnosis using the BresoTecDx Sleep Apnea Measurement Mask (right).

In partnership with the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI), IDT has developed an understanding of the impact of fatigue and apnea in aviation professionals. This directly stems from our interest in promoting aviation safety. Through its research, TRI has developed a new method of measuring sleep apnea, utilising a simple, light weight and highly cost-effective mask. It is a multiple-use device that can be issued by a clinician to an individual. Breathing sounds and head orientation are measured by the device, and when the measurements are sent to the lab, an accurate result is sent to the clinician in complete privacy.

IDT and its partner BresoTec Inc. are currently exploring ways of communicating this information to the aviation industry, and offering our services in monitoring sleep apnea.The test can be carried out in the comfort of your own bed, and can be repeated to determine changes to sleep patterns.

A BresoTec -IDT brochure on countering fatigue in aviation is available for download. Click here.

We believe that offering this highly effective and user friendly solution can greatly benefit the quality of life, productivity, and enhance safety of operations.

 

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