Can the use of telemedicine in the management of continuous positive airway pressure for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea reduce clinical time and additional appointments: a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Introduction: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep breathing disorder and is associated with increased cardiovascular risk and daytime sleepiness. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a treatment for OSA, which splints the airway open. The introduction of telemedicine in CPAP devices offers clinical staff an alternative method of reviewing patients, monitoring treatment, and reducing clinical time.

Materials and Methods: A randomized control trial was conducted with patients randomized to one of three arms: Arm 1 (standard care), Arm 2 (modem and a virtual appointment), and Arm 3 (modem, smart device application DreamMapper™, and a virtual appointment). Ninety participants requiring treatment with CPAP following a diagnosis of OSA were recruited and data collected at baseline, 14 days, and 180 days. Additional contacts or appointments were also recorded.

Results: Ninety participants (n = 90) were recruited (68% males and 32% females) with an average age of 52.0 ± 13.13 years and apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) 43.5 ± 21.92 (events/h). There was a statistically significant difference between the three arms in the average clinical time taken for the first follow-up appointment (p = 0.001). There was a statistically significant difference between the three arms in the number of additional appointments or contacts required (p = 0.03).

Discussion and Conclusion: Telemedicine reduced clinical time at first follow-up, and in patients who received standard care or a smart device application to monitor their own CPAP treatment, there were significantly less additional appointments required when compared with telemedicine support in the form of a modem alone.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Early online date25 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 25 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • obstructive sleep apnoea
  • continuous positive airway pressure
  • telemedicine
  • clinical time
  • randomised controlled trial

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