Home Sleep Monitoring

The new system allows the patient to undergo a sleep diagnosis at home and with minimal assistance from medical personnel, except for the actual diagnosis.

BFS-Project Portable Sleep Lab

The focus of this project, which is funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation (BFS), was the development of a portable sleep lab. Sleep disorders come in all shapes and sizes. Because the clinical picture is so complex, with current technology a differential diagnosis can be developed only by analyzing patients in a sleep laboratory. The new system developed by Fraunhofer IIS lets patients undergo this sleep diagnosis in the comfort of their home.

Since sleep disorders create a clinical picture based on numerous causes and influences, a myriad of vital parameters must be recorded in order to develop a differential diagnosis. This includes tracking activities from the brain (EEG), heart (ECG), eyes (EOG) and muscles (EMG), in addition to monitoring oxygen saturation, respiration and the position of the patient. A total of 24 parameters are recorded and then analyzed by trained personnel. The same effort must be expended during therapy in case the success of the treatment has to be verified through routine examinations every six months, or if the therapy has to be adjusted because the patient´s health situation has changed.

The numerous measurements mean that patients have to wear a correspondingly large number of sensors and cables, not to mention that personnel must be adequately trained before they can place the sensors on the patient. Finally, medical professionals believe the complexity of the equipment and the unfamiliar surroundings of the lab influences the patient's sleep routine, which in turn impacts the medical relevance of the test results.

Project Goals

SomnoSENS® – Home Sleep Monitoring
© Fraunhofer IIS/Kurt Fuchs

SomnoSENS® – Home Sleep Monitoring

The high-level objective of the “Portable Sleep Lab“ project was the development of a compact device that renders most of the aforementioned disadvantages obsolete, while increasing acceptability among medical professionals through equally reliable diagnoses.

The primary goal was twofold: to reduce the complexity of the equipment by letting the patient install the monitor without assistance and to offer increased comfort since the patient can leave the bed without disconnecting and reconnecting cables.

The new system allows the patient to undergo a sleep diagnosis at home and with minimal assistance from medical personnel, except for the actual diagnosis. This helps drastically to reduce the costs of such testing while eliminating potentially life-threatening waiting times for patients since sleep diagnoses can be performed by any general practitioner.


Services Clinical Studies Sleep Monitoring
© Fraunhofer IIS/Kurt Fuchs

Services Clinical Studies Sleep Monitoring

In order to meet these requirements, the number of sensors was reduced to four external and one internal, which reduces the cabling effort. In addition, the data is transmitted via Bluetooth wireless communication technology from the body unit to the base station in the house.

A client-server infrastructure was created in order to transmit the vital parameters from the patient´s home to the attending physician. This infrastructure consists of a base station in the home, a server and one or more physician terminals. The data is transmitted between the components in encrypted form and requires authentication, ensuring the system adheres to data privacy laws that cover the handling of sensitive patient data.

More Information

Brochure “Medical Communication and Biosignal Processing“

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