Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming an important tool in the healthcare industry, with advancements in cardiology, endocrinology, radiology, neurology, and oncology, among others. In fact, AI is being used in a variety of clinical settings to support more accurate diagnoses, including in the analysis of sleep studies by the second product on this Nature list: EnsoSleep.
Why is AI progressing so rapidly? One main benefit of AI is its ability to bridge the gap between specialties by learning and connecting information that humans may not consider through the power of machine learning, which is different from traditional if/then programming. As such, AI allows clinicians in many speciality areas to support patients in ways they hadn’t considered previously, including in dental practices across the country.
How Can Dental Practices Identify Patients At-Risk for OSA?
One way for dental practices to begin identifying patients for OSA is through traditional patient intake forms. Typically, dental practices will ask patients a variety of questions before routine check-ups. Some of these questions focus on sleep disorders, including questions about bruxism and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
When patients display certain OSA symptoms – like daytime sleepiness or excessive snoring – practices can take a proactive approach to care by directing patients to physicians or organizations like Awaken2Sleep for a sleep test.
That’s where AI comes in. The EnsoData team developed EnsoSleep, an AI-powered platform that uses big data sets to support sleep clinicians in the screening and diagnosis of patients who are at-risk for OSA.
Via partnerships with organizations like Awaken2Sleep, dental practices help schedule Home Sleep Apnea Tests (HSATs) for patients. After a patient takes an HSAT, the data is analyzed by EnsoSleep’s AI, then routed to a licensed medical practitioner to review the data. This process is quick, and it can support many patients who struggle with OSA. But why is AI important?
Why does AI matter?
AI is instrumental during the analysis process for a number of reasons. First, AI can help increase the accuracy of results, as it provides interpreting physicians and technologists with a starting point that boasts a 93% agreement for AHI >= 5 in adults and an 86.6% overall sleep staging agreement.
Compare this metric to the Rosenberg and Van Hout study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine titled: The American Academy of Sleep Medicine inter-scorer reliability program: sleep stage scoring, where technologists only averaged an 82.6% agreement level for sleep staging. AI simply gives sleep teams an accurate starting point, improving the confidence levels of those who are interpreting the studies and ensuring consistency across patients.
Beyond the accuracy of AI, Awaken2Sleep has collaborated with EnsoData to provide custom reports which support the dental treatment planning and multidisciplinary collaboration processes. EnsoSleep automates results in “beautiful, detailed reports” that are both dynamically updated and really easy to understand. Need to make an edit? That will be immediately reflected in the dynamic reports.
Ultimately, with AI, EnsoSleep helps Awaken2Sleep provide better assistance to clinicians, resulting in improved diagnoses for patients. With an AI-powered solution using hundreds of thousands of data points to guide the sleep study analysis and a medical doctor reviewing the data and providing the diagnosis, dentists can offer their patients an opportunity to improve their overall health through the diagnosis and treatment of OSA and other sleep disorders.
“A dentist is often the first person to ask people about their sleep hygiene,” said Michael Cowen, Awaken2Sleep CEO and owner. “But, dental practices can do more than just help with oral appliances. They can save lives by getting patients on the path to treatment for their OSA.”
Well said, Michael. And something we firmly agree with at EnsoData. We believe there’s one specific thing dental practices can do in the fight against OSA: be the change your patients need, even if they didn’t ask for it. And that starts up front with screening and testing.
Discover How AI is Assisting the Awaken2Sleep Organizational Operation
Are you intrigued? Do you want to learn more about how AI might be able to support your dental practice? Connect with Awaken2Sleep to talk to a sleep coach about how you can implement a sleep program within your dental practice. Awaken2Sleep will help you evaluate which testing and screening model may be right for your practice.