Spring to Attention - It's Sleep Conference Season

EnsoData’s growth team shared in the fun at Sleep Medicine Disruptors, Carolina Sleep Society Conference, Philadelphia Sleep Conference, and Southern Sleep Society Annual Meeting, a quartet of enlightening sleep events

As is the case every spring, the flowers were blooming, the allergies were mounting, and the sleep medicine discussions were getting started. In the past, sleep events might have included some conversations at a later hour, perhaps with a cocktail. In 2021, virtual events lead the way. That said, with vaccination rates on the rise, in-person activities are starting to pop back up. The value of in-person and even virtual conferences cannot be overstated. With every event and more specifically, every new conversation, we are learning more about the evolving nature of our industry. And because we were always taught that sharing is caring, we wanted to outline a few of the biggest takeaways from the early conferences we sponsored this spring. 

Sleep Medicine Disruptors

After the success of the inaugural livestream last fall, the industry was ready for the second annual Sleep Medicine Disruptors course. Like many conferences since the pandemic began, Disruptors was held virtually this year. The presentations focused on cutting-edge technology and explored the innovations poised to change the landscape of sleep health care. According to AASM President, Dr. Kannan Ramar, the event focused on what’s to come:

Sleep Medicine Disruptors 2021 had inspiring speakers who provided a vision of what sleep medicine will be like in the near future, describing how to best get there using current disruptions and technological advances. Embracing and adopting these disruptions will allow us to go further in providing high quality, safe, and affordable care to our patients. – Dr. Kannan Ramar

One disruption we’re always advocating for – obviously – is our AI-assisted scoring solution: EnsoSleep. Our AI automates event detection, allowing clinicians to spend more time with patients, and less with the data.

Southern Sleep Society Annual Meeting

In addition to Disruptors, the Southern Sleep Society Meeting was also fully virtual in 2021. With over 650 registered participants, the virtual event attracted physicians, psychologists, nurses, sleep technologists, respiratory therapists and EEG technologists from all over the world.

SSS kicked off with a pertinent keynote session exploring the links between central sleep apnea (CSA) and heart failure. From there, infection control, the neurology of sleep medicine, incorporation of clinical research, and more were covered in sessions featuring speakers from around the country. The event was really a comprehensive dive into what sleep medicine is focused on in 2021. 

Our own Adam Newell sat in throughout the conference, and he came away with glowing reviews of the event. “I know Marietta Bibbs, the SSS Meeting Planner, would’ve liked to have the event in person this year. Regardless, she nailed it,” said Adam Newell, an EnsoData Sales Development Representative who attended the event virtually from Carolina. 

Newell highlighted a handful of sessions that he enjoyed while sipping a little coffee on the porch during the weekend sessions. He is a bit bummed out about his non-first place effort in the Saturday Jeopardy competition, which was a nice engaging activity in the time of virtual events. The Southern Sleep Society Meeting Planner, Marietta Bibbs also emphasized how attractive the event was to folks from all areas of sleep medicine. 

It was not only a question of numbers that made the conference so successful: it was the general enthusiasm and participant engagement that was constantly present during the 3 -day conference. Participants enjoyed the live interaction with speakers and exhibitors and “sleep jeopardy” was a big hit. The virtual meeting was a different experience, but it was also the most successful conference in the history of the Society. – Marietta Bibbs

We agree. You knocked it out of the park, Marietta and team.

Carolina Sleep Society Spring MeetingCarolina Sleep Society Meeting

The Carolina Sleep Society Spring Meeting was our reentrance to in-person meetings in 2021. With Account Executive Nick Orr flying out from Wisconsin, and Newell making the drive from Charleston up to Myrtle Beach, the pineapple was finally back IN the building.

Speaking of in the building, if you were flying into Myrtle Beach, you likely saw our airport welcome ads! Nick was nice enough to capture a selfie while flying in. (It’s here on the left!).

The virtual and in-person meeting tackled one focal point above all others – personalization of treatment.

From Inspire therapy to AI-driven mask fitting analysis to understanding the future of the sleep technologist role, it’s clear that leaders in sleep are prioritizing precise treatment that fits each patient’s unique circumstances. According to Orr, the event was riveting. 

“A lot of vendors are hyper-focused on their part of the care continuum, or sometimes focused primarily on other specialities: e.g., EEG for Neurology, EKG for Cardiology. Going to sleep conferences helps you zoom out and recognize your small part in the overall sleep and healthcare ecosystem,” said Orr, adding: “It is surprising both how much other people know (that you don’t), and vice versa.” 

Orr highlighted that attending in-person events really helps you understand the bigger picture. We often get so focused on sleep scoring and analysis, that we forget how much else is happening in sleep. These events allow people to get on the same page. 

Some people may not be very familiar with an implantable device, software, or hardware that you feel is common knowledge. And clinicians and other experts surely know a heck of a lot more about the day-to-day struggles of providers, operations, technicians, and patients that vendors are unfamiliar with. – Nick Orr

The general takeaway we left with: the value of making specific connections with someone face to face is irreplaceable and the conversations you can have during an in-person conference are sure to open your eyes a bit.

Philadelphia Sleep Conference

The Philadelphia Sleep Conference was a fully virtual event this year, sponsored by the RTSleepWorld team. The all day conference is primarily designed for the sleep tech audience, with 10 CEUs on the table for attendees. Throughout the event, an onslaught of amazing presentations were available to attendees, and by the end of the day, the main message from Philadelphia shone bright. Technicians’ roles will evolve as we move through the 2020s, and techs must be ready to roll with the changes. 

We were also fortunate to grab a quote from the Conference Director, Michael DiDomenico, who’s sentiments mirror our own takeaway: 

The forward-looking presentations at the 2021 Philadelphia Sleep Conference reinforced that the future is very bright for sleep professionals. A few years ago, it seemed as if the walls were closing in, but it’s plain to see that the opportunities for sleep technologists are expanding. – Michael DiDomenico

Clearly, the role of sleep technologists is shifting, but it isn’t going away. Testing requires technicians to bring medical expertise and compassion to the table. Patients still value the human element of medicine, and techs will continue to provide that care. 

What’s Up Next? SLEEP 2021

While we can’t speak more highly about the three conferences we attended this Spring, they are all hor’d’oeuvres to the main course that is SLEEP 2021. With one, two, three, four, five, six abstracts being published at the event, we are extremely excited to share our new research data. For those looking for more information on our conference abstracts, check out our publications page now.

Sleep 2021 Abstract Preview

We are also ecstatic to continue the sleep discussion of the year: how AI will continue to make an impact on the sleep market. Exciting things to come. Stay tuned.