How Ambulatory Polysomnography (PSG) Systems are Fare Better Than Laboratory Polysomnography (PSG) Systems?
Ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) systems have proved to be advantageous over traditional laboratory polysomnography (PSG) systems due to their portable nature. This benefit of ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) systems has proved to be extremely effective in monitoring and diagnosing several facets of sleep disorders and, hence, these systems are slowly replacing the traditional devices.
Out of the different medical tests and studies conducted to ascertain the health and soundness of a patient, a rather unusual test is that of sleep study. Sleep study, as the name suggests, documents and records all the body activity during sleep. Sleep study is mainly used to diagnose problems related to sleep apnea, seizures, insomnia, sleep periodic limb movement, narcolepsy, night terrors, bedwetting, etc. Over the years, sleep study has been further classified into several types including, polysomnography, maintenance of wakefulness tests (MWTs), multiple sleep latency tests (MSLTs), and home sleep tests (MSTs).
What are Ambulatory Polysomnography (PSG) Systems and How Do They Fare as Compared to Laboratory Polysomnography (PSG) Systems
Out of the 4 types of sleep studies- polysomnography, maintenance of wakefulness tests (MWTs), multiple sleep latency tests (MSLTs), and home sleep tests (MSTs)- polysomnography involves a multi-parameter study that records the physiological changes that occur during sleep. Traditionally, polysomnography systems are employed in a sleep center, where the patient is admitted, and during his/her sleep, he/she is tested for several of his/her bodily activities including the heart rate, heart rhythm, brain activity, breathing rate, oxygen levels in the blood, eye movement, body muscle movements, etc.
Ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) systems are advanced versions of traditional polysomnography systems. These systems are portable in nature and help medical practitioners and experts to carry out sleep tests of their patients even outside sleep centers, say in patient’s home.
There are several reasons as to why traditional or laboratory polysomnography (PSG) systems are slowly being replaced by ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) systems. Firstly, sleep tests are highly subjective in nature, meaning the test results of the same patient can change considerably over a short period of time. Also, different viewpoints can be generated from the data of the same patient as different bodily activities are being monitored. In such a scenario, the stress felt by the patient caused on account of being admitted in a sleep center can act counterproductive and can give misleading results. Ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) system, owing to their portable nature, allows patients to undergo sleep tests from their own homes, thus negating the effect of stress and providing more accurate and precise sleep tests results.
The second reason why ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) systems are replacing traditional laboratory polysomnography (PSG) systems is the indirect effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the SARS-CoV-2 virus started spreading across the world, the focus of the global healthcare community shifted to treating the Covid-19 patients and curbing the spread of the pandemic. As a result, sleep centers of many hospitals and clinics were either closed or turned into Covid wards; this reduced the frequency with which patients used to undergo sleep tests. Also, from the demand side, there was a drastic decline in patients opting to visit sleep centers to undergo polysomnography as there was fear of infection. Hence, instead of laboratory polysomnography (PSG) systems, ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) systems have experienced a gradual increase in demand in the last few years. This increase in demand in the post-Covid period is expected to push the growth numbers of the global ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) system market higher.
Future Prospects for Ambulatory Polysomnography (PSG) Systems
With each passing year, there has been a general increase in the awareness among people regarding the importance of having sleep disorders diagnosed and treated. This is especially true in the case of the North America region where people are actively opting for ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) systems to undergo sleep tests. The highly advanced healthcare infrastructure of the North America region is, in return, able to fulfil this demand of the market.
Additionally, leading players of the healthcare industry such as Koninklijke Philips N.V., Nihon Kohden Corporation, and Compumedics Limited, are constantly investing in research and development of innovative ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) systems so that newer and unexplored facets of bodily activities during sleep can be explored, monitored, and recorded. This innovative spirit among the private players, growing healthcare expenditure by governments, and increasing awareness among the general populace are predicted to be the top three factors which will propel the demand for ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) systems in the near future.
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