Utilizing the Newest Sensor Technology in Sleep Medicine

Working in Sleep Medicine is a rewarding career, and providing the best clinical care for every patient is the hallmark of an exceptional Sleep Center and an excellent Sleep Technologist. As a Sleep Technologist myself, nothing could be more frustrating than to witness a patient arousing throughout the night; whether it be a complete awakening or frequent micro-arousals, only to realize these arousals could not be qualified. I was having difficulty associating these arousals with an event, such as snoring or upper airway resistance. In such instances when a patient is obviously demonstrating symptoms of fragmented sleep and has indicated they are fatigued, alignment with this type of arousals and a scorable event may not always be possible.

The Dymedix line of sensors are manufactured in the United States using a film called Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF). This technology uses not only temperature to obtain flow, but also pressure and vibration. The result is a crisp, superior signal. The real value of using these sensors, embedded with this technology, is a more linear flow pattern and faster response time in comparison to a traditional thermocouple or thermistor technologies. The response time of a traditional sensor is generally 2-3 seconds, while the Dymedix airflow sensor has a response time of 5 milliseconds.

The faster response time of Dymedix PVDF airflow sensors allows for the detection of events that would generally be missed with the slower response of a traditional airflow sensor; therefore, the technologist can often qualify or associate the arousals to a scorable event. Dymedix airflow sensors can also eliminate the need for a nasal pressure transducer, as PVDF obtains flow using the slightest change in not only temperature but also pressure and motion. Therefor only one sensor is required making the testing experience much more comfortable for the patient.

As Sleep Technologists, our goal is to assist our patients in getting a better night’s sleep. We can get them on a pathway to the appropriate treatment and improve their health by learning about and utilizing the newest diagnostic technologies available to the Sleep Medicine Industry. Dymedix Diagnostics has made this technology available.

Tammy Hannahs RRT, RPSGT