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World’s Largest Study on Sleep Apnea Suggests Apps Improve Patient Adherence

World’s Largest Study on Sleep Apnea Suggests Apps Improve Patient Adherence

According to the results of a 128,000-patient study conducted by ResMed, sleep apnea patients who use a self-management app in conjunction with positive airway pressure (PAP) are more likely to adhere to their therapy. ResMed is a global medical device company, focused on using cloud-based apps to help patients manage their chronic disease.

“This new study shows that online self-monitoring tools engage patients and significantly improve their compliance and adherence to treatment,” said ResMed Medical Director Dr. Adam Benjafield. “While our study focused on PAP users, we believe these results may be generalized more broadly in terms of the role online tools can have in improving medical treatment compliance overall.”

According to ResMed, poor patient adherence to treatment places an estimated $290 billion burden on the US healthcare system every year. Poor adherence increases the likelihood of disease progression, and these patients are more likely to be admitted to the hospital.

This observational study followed patients using sleep apnea devices, which were remotely monitored by their physician, or by themselves. ResMed’s myAir cognitive behavior-based app was used to monitor the patient’s adherence to the therapy.

Over 87 percent of PAP users were compliant when using myAir for self-monitoring, in conjunction with AirView for clinician remote monitoring. Patients who were only monitored using AirView showed 70 percent compliance to their therapy. Despite advances in continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for sleep apnea patients, as few as 50 percent of people adhere to the therapy in the absence of digital monitoring.

“Half of all patients don’t take their medications as prescribed, and we know that same statistic holds true for compliance with PAP therapy for sleep apnea,” said Benjafield. “The effects of poor treatment adherence are profound, not only for the number of people suffering due to poor medication adherence, but also in terms of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and their financial burden to the healthcare system.”

As a companion to AirView, myAir could help patients ensure they’re following the proper advice of their clinician on how to best manage their sleep apnea. ResMed will present further study data at this year’s American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) annual meeting.