GE Unveils Virtual Sleep Lab

GE Healthcare launched its MARS Virtual Sleep Lab (VSL), the first device that allows physicians to view quantitative cardiac and sleep apnea analysis from any GE-monitored inpatient bed, at the American College of Cardiology's 59th Annual Scientific Session in Atlanta on Monday.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects nearly 50 percent of all heart disease patients. When sleep disorders are diagnosed and treated early, it has been shown to improve cardiac conditions; left undiagnosed, however, sleep apnea can increase heart disease risks. More than 80 percent of individuals with moderate-to-severe OSA have not been clinically diagnosed.

MARS Virtual Sleep Lab, which is powered by the WideMed's Morpheus Hx sleep apnea diagnosis program, enables OSA diagnosis directly from the hospital bed — transforming in-patient rooms into virtual sleep labs and enabling a bedside diagnosis by improving utilization of monitored data to provide diagnostic information.

According to a recent recent study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, connecting the WideMed automated sleep analysis system to hospital monitors achieves results highly correlated with polysomnography, the standard test conducted in sleep labs.

"With MARS VSL, hospitals can quickly and effectively test cardiac patients for sleep apnea, utilizing existing physiological data for retrospective analysis," said Matthias Weber, vice president and GM of Global Diagnostic Cardiology at GE Healthcare. "Eliminating this delay in sleep apnea diagnosis supports GE’s healthymagination vision for enhancing outcomes, enabling timely access to treatment and ultimately, reducing costs."

MARS Virtual Sleep Lab automatically reports on critical clinical data, such as apnea hypopnea index, sleep staging and respiratory events. Following a sleep apnea diagnosis, an AutoPAP device can be immediately prescribed while the patient is still in the hospital. This increases the chance that OSA patients can begin treatment before other complications develop.

In addition to sleep apnea diagnostic testing, MARS Virtual Sleep Lab also offers quantitative Holter analysis for in-hospital cardiac patients. Holter devices collect cardiac information and perform quantitative analysis not traditionally performed in the monitoring environment. Because MARS VSL directly links into GE Healthcare's CARESCAPE CIC Pro (a central station that assimilates real-time and historical patient data from multiple monitoring sources), a quantitative Holter analysis can now be performed from any connected patient bed, eliminating the need for additional monitoring equipment.

"MARS VSL will help the sleep community reach previously undiagnosed patients, helping improve outcomes by detection of sleep apnea in a critical-care setting, and put the patient on the road to the appropriate sleep-related therapy," said Guarav Agarwal, GM of Respiratory Care at GE Healthcare. "Furthermore, MARS VSL will enable management of the patient rather than the management of the symptoms of this life-threatening disease."