SLEEP 2023 was full of ground-breaking research, insightful sessions, and exciting new products. We were fortunate to have team members attend SLEEP (some for the first time) to connect with customers and partners and learn as much as possible about the field of sleep medicine in just a few days. While there is no way for us to showcase and provide takeaways for every session and research abstract at SLEEP, following are six topics that were especially impactful to our team, as well as notable perceptions from attending SLEEP 2023.
1. Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation (HNS) is solidifying itself as a reliable and well tolerated non-PAP therapy
Studies show that the explant and revision rates for HNS show a comparable trend as the Inspire STAR trial and comparable five-year survivability to other stimulation devices . Another study demonstrated high satisfaction with HNS as a treatment in patient reported outcome measures and experiences. I think these are encouraging results for patients who may not respond well to PAP. Researchers, and clinicians are pursuing multiple different non-PAP avenues to better address their patient populations.
Marcel Braun and others, 0439 Patient-Reported Experience with Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation for Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Influence of symptom improvements, Sleep, Volume 46, Issue Supplement_1, May 2023, Page A195, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsad077.0439
Colin Huntley and others, 0445 Real-world Evaluation of Upper Airway Stimulation system survival using post-market surveillance data, Sleep, Volume 46, Issue Supplement_1, May 2023, Pages A197–A198, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsad077.0445
Session highlighted by: Connor Sheedy, EnsoData Staff Engineer
“My first sleep conference was a great mix of meeting fellow vendors, listening to the latest sleep & circadian research, and spending time with members of the EnsoData team that I don’t often get to. Shoutout to Deanna Barkocy for her organizational efforts and for the extra backpack she was gracious enough to lend me.”
Connor Sheedy, EnsoData Staff Engineer
2. Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome Across the Lifespan
Presenting Authors: Babek Mokhlesi, Pallavi Patwari, Alejandra Lastra, Lisa Wolfe
Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome (OHS) is a particularly severe disorder with a mortality rate of up to 35%. It is known to have many comorbidities and can be described as a “mechanical” issue caused by blockage of the patient’s upper airway by the throat and compression of the lung cavity by the diaphragm due to excessive body mass. It is often initially misdiagnosed by non-sleep professionals. CPAP has been found to be an effective form of treatment due to its ability to counteract the compression of the throat and lungs with opposing expansive force provided by the compressed air from the CPAP machine. Determining the correct CPAP settings to use can be difficult due to a variety of factors. For example, pressure should be set high enough to sufficiently open the airway but not so high as to cause the epiglottis to close. One critical treatment factor to address is mask leak which can quickly render the treatment ineffective. There are many other treatment factors to consider in order to most effectively treat a patient with this disorder.
Session highlighted by: David Piper, EnsoData Staff Engineer
“My first time attending the SLEEP conference was a great opportunity for me to see a side of the sleep community that I do not regularly interact with in my engineering role. The sessions gave me an opportunity to challenge myself to try and understand (at least partly) the role of sleep professionals in their day-to-day activities of diagnosing and treating patients. Shout out to the presenters and researchers for their at times overwhelming amount of data and research they’ve contributed to the world of sleep.”
David Piper, EnsoData Staff Engineer
3. Optimizing Sleep Health in First Responders & Military Personnel: Evidence-Based Practices, Controversies, and Research Gaps
Panel consisted of: Dr. Joel Billings (fire service representation), Dr. Vincent Mysliwiec (military representation), Dr. Patterson (EMS representation), and Dr. Patricia Haynes (mental health representative)
Occupations such as emergency management services (EMS), fire services, and military personnel shoulder the public’s expectations of being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. These expectations along with role duties, responsibilities, schedules, and other unique circumstances lead many personnel working in these sectors to have sleep challenges.
The panel invited discussion about controversies unique to first responders, strategies for the occupations, barriers to implementing sleep interventions, and research and practice gaps. The discussion led to questions about how to manage perception around the need for sleep, evidence about caffeine use in these workplaces, and challenges of first responder work schedules.
It is clear that there were no easy answers to combat the needs and perceptions of the public nor the need for cultural shifts in organizations to provide better opportunities for improved sleep hygiene to have a fit and alert force.
Session highlighted by: Angela Becker-Bradley, EnsoData Human Resources Manager
“As a person new to the industry, it was very helpful to see faces of people at organizations who are frequently mentioned and listen to vast amounts of research being done within the world of sleep that impacts many other health aspects. I’m grateful that I was able to attend to help connect the dots and appreciate the leadership team’s support for attending.”
Angela Becker-Bradley, EnsoData Human Resource Manager
4. Tech Track – COMISA Evaluation and Management – Kara Dupuy-McCauley, MD
Presented by: Kara Dupuy-McCauley, MD
How the CCSH Can Be Used in Improving Sleep Outcomes in COMISA Patients
Presented by: Amber Allen, BA, AAS, RPSGT, RST, CCSH
COMISA is a multifactor disease that needs multiple treatment approaches, including but not limited to CPAP therapy, CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia), and medication. There is a shortage of trained professionals to help with this patient population. A CCSH can make a big impact on the treatment success of a COMISA patient by helping providers and patients with education, motivation, lifestyle interventions, and providing support and encouragement.
Session highlighted by: Andrea Ramberg, RPSGT, CCSH, EnsoData Clinical Director
5. Sleep Determinants and Predictors of Disease
Panel Co-Chairs Constance H. Fung, MD, MSHS & Brienne Miner, MD, MHS
In this session presenters showed data on social determinants of sleep disorders, and association between sleep and injury, and physical functioning. In a large-scale analysis of data from the National Health Interview Survey, Clarence E. Locklear, MA showed that adults with trouble staying asleep most days carry a larger risk of motor vehicle injury. In another study of older adults who have been hospitalized, Sara Nowakowski, PhD, CBSM, DSM presented data showing that worse changes in sleep pre- to post-hospitalization were associated with worse functional outcomes. Both of these studies highlight the importance of sleep to general health and well-being. Also, the importance of tracking sleep in a sleep-averse hospital setting may have crucial consequences for recovery.
Session highlighted by: Tom Vanasse, PhD, EnsoData Senior Machine Learning Engineer
“This was my first SLEEP conference. Shoutout to EnsoData for offering me this opportunity to professionally engage the sleep medicine and sleep research community.”
Tom Vanasse, PhD, EnsoData Senior Machine Learning Engineer
6. Practical Guidelines for Using Wearable Technology in Sleep and Circadian Research
Panel: Cathy Goldstein, MD, MS (chair), Jesse D. Cook, MS (speaker) and Philip C. Cheng, PhD (speaker)
This panel discussion focused on the potential of wearable technology for sleep and circadian research. The session included an overview of existing wearable technology, including the sensors used and the algorithms involved in processing the data. Important considerations when selecting a device for clinical research were highlighted. This included performance validation, accessibility, user engagement, market share, battery life, storage capacity, data reliability, and access to raw signals. The limitations of research involving wearable devices, such as device validation and reliability across different populations, were discussed. The “black-box” nature of algorithms was a common concern, but collaboration between clinicians and companies was seen as a way to minimize these doubts. Throughout the panel, the presenters shared amusing anecdotes about the challenges of implementing clinical research with wearable devices. For instance, one presenter shared a story about a patient who placed a wearable device on their dog and another who tried to return a fake Apple Watch to keep and keep the original for themselves.
Finally, the Panel Chair, Dr. Cathy Goldstein, gave a shout-out to our very own Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Nathaniel Watson, citing his quote: “A doctor can affect a few, but an algorithm can affect Millions”.
Session highlighted by: Yoav Nygate, MS, EnsoData AI Engineering Manager
“This was my second in-person SLEEP conference and my fourth overall. It was wonderful being involved in the research and presentation of our work. This year, our team presented five posters and one oral presentation. Shoutout to all EnsoData team members and our external collaborators whose valuable input was crucial to the success of our presented research..”
Yoav Nygate, MS, EnsoData AI Engineering Manager