An Israeli company has developed an innovative new fingertip test that can diagnose sleep apnea at home, and diagnose heart disease at an earlier stage.
The devices, developed by Itamar Medical in Caesarea, are based on Peripheral Arterial Tone (PAT), which monitors the pulses in your fingertips or in the extremities.
WatchPAT helps to diagnose sleep apnea. It is worn on the wrist, like a watch. It measures PAT and other indicators, such as oxygen level, body position and snoring, so that sleep apnea can now be monitored and diagnosed in a wireless situation, from the comfort of one’s home.
The information recorded by WatchPAT is downloaded to a computer by a doctor, and the software instantly analyzes it and produces a comprehensive report.
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The EndoPAT, selected by Prevention magazine as one of the top nine medical breakthroughs of 2009, uses the same technology in a device that measures the extent to which the arteries in your finger will expand, if blood flow is suddenly increased.
If the test indicates that the flexibility of the arteries is decreasing, the decline can be treated before it develops into a serious problem.
WatchPAT is already widely used in Israel and the US, with Kaiser Permanente a satisfied customer. The giant US health care organization has stopped using sleep labs and performed 22,000 tests for sleep apnea using the WatchPAT system.
It is also using Itamar Medical’s fingertip-monitoring technology in the EndoPAT device, in 15-minute clinical test that has been proven to predict the development of heart disease.