They presented the results of research related to assessment of sleep-disordered breathing and sleep fragmentation at Sleep 2008, an international sleep research conference, in Baltimore in June.
Patients who may have sleep disorders often undergo complicated and expensive tests in sleep laboratories, Chervin explained. These studies collect an assortment of biophysical data that reflect brain, cardiovascular and muscle activity throughout the night. Up to now, these data had to be analyzed manually by highly trained technicians.
"We are collaborating to find new ways to analyze routinely collected data in a way that will be meaningful to the patient's health and will help us understand how sleep disorders affect brain functions," he said.
Automated analysis of data potentially can provide improved assessments and reduce the cost of sleep studies, Burns noted. For example, MTRI and UM have developed an automated technique for assessing the severity of sleep-disordered breathing, using just two signalsbrain waves and respirationinstead of the dozen or more signals typically needed for standard visual scoring of a sleep study.
"It may even become possible for people to take sleep testssimpler and more effective than some of those currently availableat home where they can sleep in their own familiar bedrooms," he suggested.
Both partners are reaping the benefits of the collaboration, Burns said. Not only can automated technology improve clinical research; what the MTRI scientists have learned about biomedical techniques such as brain mapping is informing their more traditional work on radar and optical sensing technology.
Michigan Tech and UM have patented the new algorithm for assessing sleep-disordered br
|Contact: Jennifer Donovan|
Michigan Technological University