Researchers involved in this project
Raquel Pires Alves
David Simões de Melo
Although loud frequent snoring is often noticed, pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep known as sleep apnea are often unnoticed. Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders, but it often remains undiagnosed, due to both unawareness of its symptoms and the flaws and complexity of current diagnostic methodologies. Patients are required to sleep at a specialized sleep institute where, overnight, a number of obtrusive sensors are attached to the body which causes negative impact on the patient’s sleep. In the project UMOSA, three contactless measurement principles: speckle vibrometry, remote photo-plethysmography and remote thermography are used to unobtrusively monitor sleep apnea. In the first stage, these technologies will be developed to guarantee continuous, accurate and robust measurement of heart rate, respiration rate and arterial oxygen saturation, nasal flow and pulse transit time. In the second stage, each technology will be clinically validated at a sleep-institute. Successful outcomes of this project will have a direct impact on current sleep medicine diagnostics at sleep centers by making polysomnography (PSG) significantly less obtrusive. The nature of contactless technology also realistically places home monitoring of sleep patients on the horizon. Lastly, the technology will have an impact far beyond sleep, by benefitting other patients’ groups, like those on the intensive care unit.