Study bolsters use of telemedicine for sleep therapy

Friday, March 4, 2016

DARIEN, Ill. – A new study suggests that telemedicine-based management for obstructive sleep apnea is as effective as in-person care. Results of the study, published in the March 1 issue of the journal Sleep, show that there was no significant difference in functional outcomes changes, dropout rates, or objectively measured positive airway pressure adherence between patients having a clinical video telehealth-based visit or an in-person physician visit at the initial evaluation. Additionally, participants in the study reported high satisfaction with telemedicine, citing the advantages of decreased travel and greater convenience. The study involved 60 veterans at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and two affiliated community based outpatient clinics located 33 and 46 miles away. Participants were randomized to the telemedicine or standard care pathway. Those in the telemedicine pathway used a platform launched by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in January. A core component of the platform is a secure, web-based video platform that facilitates live, interactive consultations and follow-up visits between patients and sleep medicine clinicians.