This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

UB licenses sleep apnea diagnostic technology

Published: March 31, 2005

Reporter Contributor

UB has signed an agreement with Sleep Solutions Inc., the medical device and health-care services company providing direct-to-patient testing services, to commercialize and distribute an innovative diagnostic testing technology for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR).


The NovaSom™QSG™ collects up to three nights of sleep data that is returned to Sleep Solutions, where it is downloaded. A comprehensive summary is sent to the patient's physician for review and diagnosis.

"This technology represents a substantive advancement in the way OSA can be diagnosed," said Michael J. Thomas, president and CEO of Sleep Solutions Inc. (SSI). "This new product will broaden our portfolio of services of less-expensive, more-patient-friendly diagnostic testing products delivered directly to OSA patients in their homes"

The Maryland-based Sleep Solutions provides technology and services for at-home diagnosis, therapy and care management of sleep-disordered breathing, particularly obstructive sleep apnea.


OSA affects 18 million people in the U.S., with as many as 90 percent going undiagnosed. In addition, CSR, a sleep-disordered breathing condition occurring in patients with congestive heart failure, affects an additional 4.6 million Americans.

The UB technology is a software algorithm that uses a form of artificial intelligence, a "neural network," to detect obstructive sleep apnea and CSR using a pulse oximetry signal.

Ali El-Solh, associate professor of medicine, and Brydon J. Grant, professor of medicine, both in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Jacek Dmochowski, formerly with UB, developed the software programs and algorithms. The technology is based on analysis of the oximetric recordings of 213 sleep studies. The software has demonstrated very high sensitivities and specificities for diagnosing CSR and OSA.

"SSI has contracted with many of the leading managed-care organizations throughout the U.S. and developed strong brand awareness of innovation, cost-effectiveness and high-quality services with our core product, NovaSom™QSG™," noted Thomas.

Robert J. Genco, interim vice president for research and director of the UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR), said there is "a growing worldwide clinical need to provide a cost effective solution for diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea and Cheyne-Stokes respiration. We are very confident that Sleep Solutions will be able to bring this novel technology to the marketplace, resulting in a lower-costing, easier-to-implement diagnostic tool for the public good."

Genco noted that Sleep Solutions has a strong product line, distribution channel and clinical-trial experience to successfully commercialize this advanced technology.

"Sleep Solutions' goal is to develop and market this innovative technology for the diagnosis of OSA directly to third-party payers and physicians," said Thomas.

STOR filed for patent protection on behalf of the SUNY Research Foundation. The technology has been issued two patents and an additional patent application is pending.