The medical industry has seen a huge rise in health-related mobile apps as more tech companies get on board to meet the growing demand for healthcare technology. With a growing number of applications being developed for the purpose of health tracking, industry reports estimate that the market will grow to over $5 billion by 2018.
Spud Software was presented with an opportunity to create our own health-related mobile app in 2012 when One Connect, a company dedicated to smartphone based medical technology, asked Spud Software to develop a mobile application that could diagnose and monitor patients who are at-risk for sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person has one or more pauses in breathing, or experiences shallow breathing, while asleep. This condition prevents affected individuals from experiencing adequate deep sleep and can cause a person to wake several times throughout the night. Sleep apnea has also been shown to increase the risk of several serious illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke and dementia.
One Connect and Spud Software have developed a system of software (a mobile app) and hardware (wearable tech accessories) that, when used in conjunction, has the ability to monitor pulse, eye movement, heart rate, oxygen levels in the blood, and brain waves. The wearable tech accessories include “leap pads,” a head attachment , and a finger sensor.
After applying the leap pads, head attachment and finger sensor, patients can stop and start the study at any time by using the mobile application on their smart phone. Once the patient chooses to start the study, the mobile app begins collecting data. When the patient wakes up, they use a slider bar to notify the app that they want to end the sleep session. All of the data from the most recent sleep session is collected and sent securely to One Connect, where a technician uses the One Connect site to score the patient’s sleep study.
One facet of the Sleep Apnea App that sets it apart from other applications is One Connect’s scoring process: This process is completed manually by a live technician. Many other applications use automated events detection, which can yield poor results. After the scoring process is complete, the results can be forwarded to a doctor for further consideration and diagnosis.
An additional benefit of OneConnect’s Sleep Apnea application is that it has the ability to detect a range of health anomalies. The application has already effectively discovered an irregular heartbeat in one individual during the testing stages.
Once the application becomes available for public use, patients will be able to download the application directly from the Apple App and Google Play store. The hardware, which consists of the lead pads, a head accessory, a finger sensor and circuit board, will be available for rent at sleep centers and hospitals.