Innovation

Distance measurement

ORIGINALLY, motivation for the development of a sensor measuring distance on the human body comes from direct observation of patients experiencing sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). It was noticed that movements of the mandible were concomitant with breathing efforts. Therefore, measuring and analysing jaw movements during sleep could constitute a powerful solution to overcome the limitations of commonly used methods of measuring respiratory efforts. To this end, a simple, non-invasive magnetic-based motion sensor was developed.

After the sensor demonstrated its usefulness in the diagnosis of SDB, other clinical applications emerged: the sensor could also be useful for patient monitoring and in applied physiology.

A revolution

in the diagnosis of SDB

Just about everyone has noticed that snorers sleep with their mouths open; and, what\'s more, many sleep clinicians have observed that the jaw animates during sleep-disordered breathing events. Therefore, measuring and analyzing jaw movements during sleep could constitute a powerful solution to overcome the limitations of commonly used methods of measuring respiratory efforts.

Nomics recently marketed the Jawac (for Jaw Activity), a new sensor that revolutionizes the diagnosis of sleep-disordered breathing. By measuring mandibular movements during sleep, the Jawac sensor offers a powerful solution to assess breathing efforts during sleep.

Respirology 2015

What triggers frequent mouth opening during sleep in people with OSA?

Mouth opening is sometimes observed during obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is particularly problematic
when patients are being treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) because the mouth opening causes a leak and results in decreased effectiveness of the treatment. This study measured mouth opening during sleep in OSA by measuring the movement of the mandible (chin) using a midsagittal mandibular movement magnetic sensor, which measured the distance in mm between two parallel, coupled, resonant circuits placed on the forehead and on the chin. Patients were studied while CPAP was delivered via a nasal or an oronasal mask. They authors of the study reported that mouth opening happens more frequently in men and was related to an increased nasal resistance, as assessed by the NOSE questionnaire. The study helps to better understand the mechanisms leading to mouth opening and air leakage, which presents a potential reason for decreased effectiveness of CPAP in some patients with OSA.