A new breakthrough study develops artificial intelligence algorithm that will serve to help doctors and researchers around the world to learn more about sleep disorders in the future and help treat difficulty in sleeping, sleep apnea and narcolepsy
In a new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Computer Science have collaborated with the Danish Center for Sleep Medicine at the Danish hospital Rigshospitalet to develop an artificial intelligence algorithm that can improve diagnoses, treatments, and our overall understanding of sleep disorders.
Difficulty sleeping, sleep apnea and narcolepsy are among a range of sleep disorders that thousands of Danes suffer from. Furthermore, it is estimated that sleep apnea is undiagnosed in as many as 200,000 Danes.
“The algorithm is extraordinarily precise. We completed various tests in which its performance rivalled that of the best doctors in the field, worldwide,” states Mathias Perslev, a PhD at the Department of Computer Science and lead author of the study, recently published in the journal npj Digital Medicine (link).
Today’s sleep disorder examinations typically begin with admittance to a sleep clinic. Here, a person’s night sleep is monitored using various measuring instruments. A specialist in sleep disorders then reviews the 7-8 hours of measurements from the patient’s overnight sleep.
The doctor manually divides these 7-8 hours of sleep into 30-second intervals, all of which must be categorized into different sleep phases, such as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, light sleep, deep sleep, etc. It is a time-consuming job that the algorithm can perform in seconds.
“This project has allowed us to prove that these measurements can be very safely made using machine learning– which has great significance. By saving many hours of work, many more patients can be assessed and diagnosed effectively,” explains Poul Jennum, professor of neurophysiology and Head of the Danish Center for Sleep Medicine.
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