Philips introduces an intelligent sleep therapy systemto treat a common sleep disorder: Obstructive Sleep Apnea

(PresseBox) ( Amsterdam, The Netherlands, )
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- Sleep apnea is as common as adult asthma - yet goes undiagnosed despite clear symptoms[1] such as snoring
- People with untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea may be at higher risk - for serious health hazards such as weight gain, diabetes and high blood pressure
- Philips' new intelligent Sleep Therapy System to treat OSA is designed to simplify patient management and provide greater patient comfort

Philips today announced the launch of a new Sleep Therapy System to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Using intelligent technology, this new system simplifies patient management by monitoring patients and recognizing when therapy needs are changing, while offering sophisticated comfort enhancements.

"As a leader in the sleep market and the treatment of OSA, we design sleep therapy products that should help simplify healthcare providers' work." said Don Spence, CEO Philips Home Healthcare Solutions. "Our products help encourage patients' acceptance of OSA treatment through increased comfort to improve sleep, and ultimately, their quality of life."

Philips today also called for broad education on Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), one of the most common sleep disorders worldwide. A condition characterized by the repeated cessation of breathing during sleep, OSA can not only negatively impact a person's overall quality of life and productivity, but as recent research has revealed, it can also potentially lead to serious health issues, increasing the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and other conditions.

The vast majority of people fail to seek medical diagnosis for sleep disorders. Individuals with moderate to severe OSA often have a number of symptoms including loud, disruptive snoring, gasping for air or choking during sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness. However, only a fraction of such people have been diagnosed. In the USA for example, 5% of the population is estimated to have undiagnosed OSA[2].

A recent survey conducted by Philips in five markets across the globe[3] revealed that while OSA is fairly well recognized as a chronic illness, just over a third of those consider snoring - which is one of the key symptoms of OSA - a problem for them personally, with almost two-thirds of those respondents describing snoring as a minor inconvenience that they feel does not need to be dealt with. The survey amplifies the need for education on OSA and other sleep disorders which, too often, are not being taken seriously enough among the individuals suffering from them.

"Sleep apnea causes a person's breathing to stop repeatedly during the night, their sleep is disrupted as they struggle to breathe. As a result, they never get the deep, restorative sleep that is needed." said Dr. David White, Chief Medical Officer for Philips Home Healthcare Solutions. "In addition, only a very small percentage of people who have Obstructive Sleep Apnea actually seek medical help. People simply need to take sleep much more seriously."

OSA can easily be diagnosed by physicians upon assessing a patient's complaints and symptoms. If sleep apnea is suspected, a patient will be referred for a diagnostic sleep study known as a polysomnogram, or PSG, to confirm the type and severity of the sleep apnea, as well as the appropriate treatment.

Once OSA is diagnosed as the cause of a patient's complaints and symptoms, it usually can be effectively treated with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, a non-invasive approach which is the preferred treatment of choice for OSA. CPAP provides a gentle flow of air pressure through the nasal passage using a mask, preventing airway collapse to allow an OSA patient to breathe freely during sleep. The CPAP device is equipped with various features to increase patient comfort during therapy.

The new Philips Respironics Sleep Therapy System is a CPAP solution with intelligent technology that can quickly identify conditions when a patient's therapeutic needs are changing. That means the care team will have the ability early on to identify different treatment that may be needed. Further, the new Sleep Therapy System is designed for greater patient comfort, with technologies that make it easier for patients to adapt to therapy and use it for the long term.

[1] American Family Physician, January 15, 2002 (http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020115/229.html)
[2] Young, et al., AJRCCM 2002
[3] Based on results of study of 2,513 people conducted by Philips Royal Electronics in the UK, USA, the Netherlands, Germany and Japan announced on May 18, 2009
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