Wearable technology is all the rage nowadays, and it seems that there is a new wearable device entering the market every single day as a way to help treat and diagnose a host of different health problems. Sleep apnea is no different, and fitness wearable giant Fitbit has recently announced they are getting involved with trying to cure this debilitating disease.
Sleep apnea, which is when a person has an obstruction in their airway that prevents them from breathing during the night, is a disease that is prevalent in around 18 million Americans. This condition is exceptionally serious and is linked to heart disease, obesity, and stroke. There are plenty of causes of sleep apnea, but what is problematic is that many people don’t even know they suffer from the condition as the only symptoms happen when sleeping.
To combat this and to create more awareness of the dangerous condition, Fitbit has created a device that tracks the amount of oxygen in a person’s blood stream as a way to see if they are breathing adequately.
Fitbit’s newest prototype, which doesn’t have a name yet, is currently being tested in sleep labs across the nation. How it works is quite simple — it will shine a light on the patient’s skin and detect the color of their blood. If the blood reads as red, it will be completely oxygenated, but if it is blue, this means the person has an oxygen deficiency. Then, the device will track all of these differing levels and will determine if the oxygen deficiency is severe enough to require a visit to a sleep apnea specialist.
Plus, the wearable device will be able to work great for those who are undergoing treatment for sleep apnea already. Since sleep apnea is so hard to monitor, the device will be able to measure if a person’s method of treatment is working properly.
Fitbit hopes to release their device into the market within the next year and hopes to significantly decrease the number of health concerns that come with sleep apnea in the next coming years.