Johns Hopkins turns to mHealth to identify sleep disorders

The Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep and an interdisciplinary team of sleep and mHealth app design experts are hoping to help the 80 million Americans suffering from sleep issues with a new app that can diagnosis disorders and help with treatment.

The MySleep 101 software helps identify common sleep issues that John Hopkins' medical leaders say often go untreated and are not taken into consideration in diagnosis and treatment of other issues including restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, hypersomnia, insomnia, circadian rhythm disorder and post-traumatic stress. The researchers say 60 million people in the U.S. don't get enough sleep due to one of those issues.

The app, which went live March 3, is in pilot at Johns Hopkins and being used to train medical students.

"It's very simple and easy to follow," Rachel Salas, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Neurology and Sleep, told FierceMobileHealthcare. "This tool educates healthcare providers to identify common sleep disorders in their patient population and understand the basics of common sleep disorders so they know what to look for in their patients."

The software doesn't track patient data, Salas (pictured) added. "Our first goal was to educate the providers, then give them a clinical tool," she said.

Sleep disorders are becoming a more prevalent focus of mHealth tech makers. Video game console maker Nintendo and medical equipment vendor ResMed are developing what they claim will be the first non-contact sleep system. The system will track a user's fatigue level and use microwave transmission sensors to track sleep patterns and collect data in a quest to help users "map their sleep."

Salas developed the app with fellow neurologist Charlene Gamaldo. The two board-certified sleep physicians say the app offers an efficient way for providers to give important sleep data to patients. The app features short video clips on basic sleep concepts and data from scientific research. The lectures, narrated by Gamaldo and Salas, share clinical features, risk factors and symptoms along with treatment and management strategies. 

Gamaldo and Salas already are working on the next app version, a clinical tool.

For more information:
- read the announcement
- check out the app

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