Israel-based medical technology company Itamar Medical has secured US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its WatchPAT, a sleep apnea diagnostic device.

WatchPAT is a small easy-to-use device which is worn on the wrist and facilitates screening and detection, and is used as a follow-up treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

It enables testing to be conducted at the patient's home in an environment which reflects the pattern of the patient's sleep habits.

American Thoracic Society president and University of Chicago and Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago, US pediatric sleep physician and scientist David Gozal said: "The clearance of the WatchPAT for clinical use in adolescents is a welcome addition to the currently limited array of home-based diagnostic technologies for children suspected to suffer from sleep-disordered breathing, and should enable reliable and more timely detection of those patients in need for treatment".

"An early diagnosis of sleep apnea leads to appropriate treatment which can eliminate the chances of unnecessary use of medication."

Sleep apnea leads to the occurrence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adolescents which cannot be treated until sleep apnea is addressed.

An early diagnosis of sleep apnea leads to appropriate treatment which can eliminate the chances of unnecessary use of medication.

Building on the strategy of Itamar Medical's strategy of providing a total sleep solution (TSS), WatchPAT measures the pattern of sleep in all stages which are wake, light, deep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

Image: Itamar Medical's WatchPAT sleep apnea diagnostic device. Photo: courtesy of Itamar Medical Ltd.