Solutions For Adults and Prematures
Goal: 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 goal is, to develop an easy to use chest strap solution to monitor respiratory patterns. In combination with a second strap, monitoring and analyzing abdominal thoracic breathing patterns should be possible too.
Realization: Pre-clinical tests for demonstrational purposes as well as a bachelor thesis were concluded. Preparations for an expanded test phase are in progress. Test system design is currently finalized. Upon successful completion of planned tests, a fully functional apnea chest strap solution should be finalized within 24 to 36 months thereafter. Initial results indicate that solutions for all ages including preterm babies are feasible.
Category: Medical device / consumer health for non diagnostic solutions.
Motivation: Apnea monitoring at home still remains a challenge. But with soft body dynamics monitoring systems around the thoracic diaphragm and the abdomen not only the individual breath patterns but also thorax-to-abdomen breathing ratio will become convenient, giving any professional a first indication of breath conditions. If initial apnea breath testing can be done at home, before undergoing extended tests in a sleep laboratory or in a clinic, this would already be advantageous.
Also the need for premature monitoring is urgent. Every year, more than 10% of all livebirths or around 15 million are born preterm (before 37 weeks of gestation) with an increasing trend (read more). Apnea of prematurity (AOP) is a common problem affecting premature infants (read more). AOP monitoring and treatment options are fairly limited. Expanding current system range with a novel and simple to use low cost solution for prematures is worth this challenge.
STBL with its partners are seeking for funding and production partnerships in order to bring a system to market with has the potential to make the life of apnea patients easier and allow for home monitoring.