[Alex Wall, Research Associate and Design Engineer, Flinders University]
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is highly prevalent disorder that has a huge impact on people’s lives as a result of insufficient sleep. The disorder is relatively simple to diagnose through an overnight sleep study that defines the number of times a patient obstructs per hour, but what this study does not do is inform the sleep clinician or medical staff how and why that particular patient is obstructing.
As such, researchers at the Medical Device Research Institute within the College of Science and Engineering have designed a novel multi-modal device to improve the diagnosis of OSA. By introducing the newly developed catheter into the same sleep study, researchers aim to identify the sites of collapse, the mechanism and severity of collapse and any related anatomical features. This is achieved by monitoring pressure and temperature through a patented fibre optic sensing configuration whilst recording video capture of airway collapse. The aim is for clinicians to utilise this extra diagnostic information to identify the most appropriate treatment for the patient, delivering better patient outcomes.
The device has been developed at Flinders University through an NHMRC development grant alongside Trajan Scientific and Medical and Arkwright Technologies. The team are now moving towards a series of in-vivo human clinical trials at the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health and the Centre for sleep Science in Western Australia.
View media coverage by Nine News here.