St. Louis sleep clinics to offer NovaSom wireless home sleep apnea test

By: Neil Versel | Sep 5, 2012        

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NovaSom Accusom DeliverNovaSom, maker of home tests for obstructive sleep apnea, has its first provider partnership for its AccuSom Deliver out-of-center sleep testing program, and it’s a big one. The Glen Burnie, Md.-based vendor announced Wednesday that it will offer the service through the SSM Center for Sleep Disorders, part of major Catholic integrated delivery network SSM Health Care – St. Louis.

The seven SSM Center for Sleep Disorders locations in the St. Louis area will offer AccuSom Deliver to its patients starting Oct. 1. This, according to NovaSom, will allow the center to expand its treatment capacity without sacrificing clinical control over patients. It also promises to make testing for sleep apnea more convenient and comfortable for patients, save money and, because of cellular transmission of data to the cloud, shorten the time to diagnosis.

AccuSom Deliver combines an FDA-cleared home testing kit linked to the Verizon Wireless network with a cloud-based portal for the company’s sleep specialists to access and interpret data. “That used to take weeks with a sleep lab,” Accusom marketing director Pete Celano told MobiHealthNews when AccuSom Deliver was unveiled in June.

Sleep specialists can order an out-of-center sleep test through the portal, prompting AccuSom to ship a testing kit to the patient’s home. The wireless component streamlines data collection. “The data flies through the air thanks to Verizon,” Celano said.

The portal also allows NovaSom clinicians to provide support to patients throughout the test, which requires overnight measurement of 12 physiological and neurological factors. Home testing, which AccuSom says is appropriate for 80 percent of people with undiagnosed OSA, replaces the need for an expensive and inconvenient inpatient stay in a hospital or sleep center.

The home test, according to Celano, is about $400. “The test can cost $2,000 in a sleep lab,” he said. Because AccuSom owns the testing devices, the sleep center does not need to buy its own.

“Previously we’ve considered offering out-of-center or home sleep testing to allow us to diagnosis more patients, faster. However, purchasing or renting home sleep testing devices in bulk would have required a significant operations and logistics burden in-house, from device delivery to validation of testing-in-progress to device retrieval,” Daniel Tirado, team leader for the SSM Center for Sleep Disorders, says in a press release.

Home testing got a boost in March when Aetna made the traditional in-clinic test subject to prior authorization, in part because of the cost, Celano noted. “That’s earth-shaking,” he said.