In order to diagnose Sleep Apnea or other sleep disorders, a patient must undergo a polysomnography (sleep study). This is typically done in a sleep lab, requiring the patient to spend the night in-lab, while the polysomnography (PSG) equipment records his/her physiological data. However, today with technological advancements a polysomnography can be performed at home and is called a home sleep study or a home sleep test.
Home Sleep Study Benefits
- The patient self-administers the home sleep test, and is able to spend the night in the patient’s own bed in familiar surroundings (reducing first night effect).
- Home sleep testing, a home sleep study, can be especially advantageous to the home-bound, elderly, or those with chronic illness, who require specialized care such as a nurse or family member spending the night, expensive transportation costs, etc. It is also beneficial for those with trouble arranging time out of their schedules to spend the night in-lab.
- The typical cost of a home sleep test or a home sleep study is only a fraction of the cost of an in-lab sleep study, and typically yields similar results in the diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
SLEEP APNEA & HOME SLEEP TESTING
Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea are at a significantly higher risk for developing hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and sudden death. Home sleep testing allows patients to be tested with ease in their own homes.
SleepView is the smallest and lightest home sleep testing monitor meeting AASM recommended guidelines. The 8 – channel SleepView is ergonomically designed for patients to perform an easy home sleep test.
- Easy To Use. Ergonomically designed for self-administration of home sleep test.
- Type III, 8 channels
– SleepView exceeds AASM guidelines
– SleepView scores high on SCOPER
– Significant cost savings when compared with PSG
- Reimbursement Friendly Home sleep testing is covered by most insurance providers.
- Ultra-Compact Smallest, lightest, Type III home sleep testing monitor meeting AASM recommended channel set.
- Sensor Check lights to indicate proper sensor connection during home sleep testing.
- Smart Check validates quality of recorded home sleep study before SleepView is returned to the lab. SleepView can perform multi-night studies.
- Scoring + Reporting Software View and score raw data using full PSG capable software. Customizable reporting. Easy patient record management.
- Web Portal Option SleepView’s HIPAA compliant Web Portal option allows seamless, secure access to patient’s home sleep test data, scoring and interpretation.
- AASM & CMS Compliant Generates established AHI. Airflow by cannula and thermistor.
- Clinically Validated. Based on clinical studies conducted in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, regional sleep labs, and primary care offices:
– SleepView offers high clinical benefit and improved access to patients
– Continuum of care for your patients
Home Sleep Testing VS In Lab Testing
One of the biggest differences between home sleep tests and in-lab sleep tests is the location at which they take place.
Home Sleep Tests are exactly what they sound like: sleep tests that are taken from the comfort of one’s own home. For a home sleep test, the user usually comes into the sleep clinic the day of the test to pick up his HST and is given a demonstration on how to use the machine properly before taking the equipment home. Testing is performed by the user, and the data stored on the equipment is uploaded the following day at the sleep clinic.
For an in-lab sleep study the patient must come into the facility for an overnight study. Patients generally arrive between 8-10 p.m. to fill out paper work and be given an overview of the procedure by a registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT). Patients will have to spend the night in the facility as the test usually concludes around 6 a.m.
In an in-lab sleep study a registered polysomnographic technologist is on-hand during the entire study observing the sleep activities of the patient from a monitoring station. They are able to calibrate the equipment to the patient’s needs and make necessary adjustments or reattach disconnected equipment as needed for best results of the study.
In a home sleep test, the user is responsible for making sure the equipment is on properly and functioning. One of the problems with a HST is that if something becomes disconnected in the middle of the night and the patient doesn’t wake up, the test may not get enough data for a complete study, and the test will have to be retaken.
What the tests diagnose is really what sets the two apart from each other. An overnight sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram (PSG), can test for and diagnose a whole range of sleep disorders including: breathing disorders, periodic limb movement disorders (PLMD), circadian rhythm disorders, hypersomnia, insomnia, and many more. A HST however, is only capable of testing for breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea.
Home sleep tests are primarily used to diagnose patients with obstructive sleep apnea. A sleep physician will recommend a HST only if it is believed that the patient has a very likely chance that they have moderate to severe sleep apnea. This is because HST’s tend to under-diagnose breathing disorders. If a patient has mild to low-moderate sleep apnea, the test may falsely conclude that the patient doesn’t have sleep apnea, or conclude that the patient’s sleep apnea is not as prevalent as it really is.
HST’s are not recommended for patients who may have other sleep disorder comorbidities, or who have certain medical conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, and neuromuscular disease.
A PSG uses a whole slew of monitoring devices to accurately diagnose a variety of sleep disorders. This includes:
- Electrodes on the head to measure brain activity
- Electrodes on the face to measure eye and jaw muscle activity
- Elastic belts to measure breathing effort
- Electrodes on the legs to record muscle movement
- EKG monitors to measure heart rate and rhythm
- Other devices to measure oxygen levels, breathing activity, and snoring
Because a HST is used strictly for diagnosing breathing disorders, it requires far less equipment. A HST comes in a small package that includes devices that are easy for patients to apply themselves including:
- a small nasal cannula to measure airflow
- a belt around the upper chest to measure respiratory effort
- a finger clip to measure the oxygen saturation in the blood
When it comes to diagnosing sleep disorders, an in-lab sleep study is by far the most accurate of the two tests. Even when it comes to obstructive sleep apnea, a PSG is much more likely to give the best results. This is because of the added monitoring devices that measure brain and eye activity that helps tell a RPSGT exactly when the patient is sleeping, and what stage of sleep they are in.
During an in-lab sleep study, only data recorded during actual sleep is scored, making diagnosing a sleep disorder far more accurate. In comparison, a HST study is scored from beginning to end which is why sleep apnea is often under-diagnosed because it is also recording one’s breathing while they are awake, which is when they are less likely to suffer any apnea events.
Home sleep tests are by far the most affordable at about 1/4 the cost of an in-lab sleep study. For this reason, many insurance companies require a HST as a first-line diagnostics tool. With proper screening, up to 75% of patients suspected of having moderate to severe sleep apnea will only need to have a HST performed to get their diagnosis, making an in-lab sleep study unnecessarily expensive.
Please contact Nevada Sleep Diagnostics at 702-990-7660 for current prices.
We are in network and contracted with most insurance providers in Nevada, further reducing the costs of the studies, and making them much more affordable for what you will actually have to pay. We also offer discounts for patients willing to pay in-full for the tests. Contact us to get the exact amount of your plan’s contracted rate with us.
As you can see, both HST’s and PSG’s have their benefits and drawbacks. Choosing which one is best really comes down to a patient-by-patient basis. For accuracy, diagnosing a variety of sleep disorders, and diagnosing sleep disorders with other medical conditions, a polysomnogram may be the test that your doctor or sleep physician recommends. If your doctor is fairly certain you have obstructive sleep apnea and simply wants to test for the severity of the condition, a home sleep test is often the forerunner for diagnosis.
If you have any other questions or concerns regarding whether a HST or PSG is the right test for you, feel free to contact Nevada Sleep Diagnostics at 702-990-7660