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Using Precision Medicine for Sleep Apnea

[fa icon="calendar"] Apr 6, 2017 2:51:32 PM


92.jpgPatients seeking sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment come from diverse backgrounds and all age groups; they also have unique health histories. Precision medicine, also known as systems medicine, is an emerging approach for treating patients and considers their individual differences in genetics, environment, and lifestyle when making healthcare decisions for them. By using this approach, physicians will be able to more accurately predict sleep disorder treatment and prevention. Each patient is treated as an individual with their medical data being computational and integrated into their care plan.

Throughout the day, physicians are required to interpret enormous amounts of patient data from physiology and behavior to laboratory and imaging studies. For this data to be useful, it must be analyzed, interpreted, and acted on, which is why smart algorithms are needed. Most computer-based algorithms used in medicine are expert systems, which use rule sets about specific topics that are applied to draw conclusions about clinical scenarios, such as detecting drug interactions. However, using new analytical tools generated from machine learning will become critical for making care decisions.

Machine learning handles enormous amounts of predictors, often more predictors than observations, and combining them in highly interactive, nonlinear ways. This capacity allows physicians to use new kinds of data, whose large volume or complexity would have previously made analyzing them unimaginable. Algorithms will soon generate differential diagnoses, suggest high-value tests, and reduce testing—improving diagnostic accuracy. 

This technology when used for precision medicine will dramatically improve the ability of physicians to establish a prognosis. Data can be drawn directly from EHRs or other databases, allowing models to use thousands of rich predictor variables. The influx of data generated and analyzed also means that patients will have access to more details about their health when making healthcare decisions. To support patient engagement in precision medicine and to promote informed decision making, physicians and their patients will need secure resources that provide comprehensible data.

Precision medicine, as depicted, will provide physicians with a more proactive and predictive approach to medicine, where the emphasis is on preventing sleep disorders instead of treating symptoms. However, greater volumes of data from a wider variety of sources are being generated and analyzed; this data must be integrated and incorporated into unique predictive models and reviewed by physicians. To meet the vision of precision medicine for treating sleep disorders, improving the efficiency and quality of care will require ongoing efforts, investments, and resources.

To learn how Somnoware helps sleep centers automate their testing processes, obtain predictive insights, and drive greater patient engagement, select this link.

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Topics: clinical sleep data, sleep center software, sleep center emr, cpap adherence, cpap compliance, sleep medicine software, machine learning, precision medicine

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