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What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night's sleep, you might have sleep apnea.

The main types of sleep apnea are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax
  • Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn't send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, which occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea

How does ScanWatch detect sleep apnea?

ScanWatch is able to detect the presence of sleep apnea episodes that impact health through a motion sensor, an SpO2 sensor, an HR sensor, which emits and absorbs a light wave passing through blood vessels. With the Overnight Scan feature, the watch can measure oxygen saturation levels all night long to identify when levels are inadequate due to breathing disturbances such as sleep apnea.

Apart from sleep apnea detection, what is SpO2 for?

Oxygen saturation (SpO2) is a measurement of how much oxygen your blood is carrying as a percentage of the maximum it could carry. For a healthy individual, normal SpO2 should be between 90% and 100%. 

Normally, if a person has a SpO2 below 90, they run the risk of developing hypoxemia. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, especially during brief exercise or even while you are at rest.

The oximeter is non-invasive and painless and is often recommended by doctors because it can be an indicator of certain diseases such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma, pneumonia, lung cancer, heart attack or heart failure.

What is the difference between monitoring sleep apnea through SpO2 and the technology used in Withings Sleep for breathing disturbances? Which technology is more accurate?

These two products use two different techniques to detect sleep apnea:

  • Withings Sleep uses respiratory and cardiac rhythm: It provides sleep analysis close to polysomnography, the medical gold standard for sleep monitoring.
  • ScanWatch uses a SpO2 sensor: This sensor is a non-invasive method of measuring oxygen saturation in the blood, along with advanced machine learning, to make sleep apnea detection possible.

How precise is ScanWatch’s ability to detect AFib and sleep apnea compared to PSG and/or ECG in a hospital? 

The capacity to detect sleep apnea and AFib on ScanWatch was developed by cardiologists and sleep experts and is now being assessed in clinical trials. AFib detection in ScanWatch was compared to the gold-standard ECG used in hospitals, and early results show a 98% success in identifying AFib episodes when compared to a hospital ECG.

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