Sleep-related breathing disorders constitute a major unrecognised problem in this country. It is estimated that 6% of the population suffer from sleep-related breathing disorders and this conservatively had a cost of $10.3 billion in 2004.
One way of addressing this problem is to develop remote monitoring and screening technologies, nonlinear or chaotic models assisting diagnosis and novel sensor development for assisted diagnosis. MedTeQ is specifically looking at this in paediatric populations, where undiagnosed and untreated sleep related disorders can result in significant IQ loss and developmental delay.
MedTeQ's remote sleep monitoring in the paediatrics project aims to objectively define the specifications of a system to deliver diagnostic services in the field of sleep disordered breathing to children outside the environment of a tertiary teaching hospital. The conventional model of multi-modal monitoring and expert review of data is not scalable to serve the current indicators of disease prevalence. The MedTeQ initiative in this area is centred at the Mater Children’s Hospital, Department of Respiratory Medicine and Sleep Unit. Currently underway is the first stage of the project, which is to identify the measures required to derive a diagnosis with sensitivity and specificity suitable for a paediatric screening program.