89% of Survey Participants Think They Know What Sleep Apnea Is, Yet Deeper Analysis Suggests that their Understanding is Superficial
A survey commissioned by Itamar Medical found that a third of respondents were unaware that treating sleep apnea can significantly reduce the health risks associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke
ATLANTA, Feb. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to a survey commissioned by leading FDA cleared medical device and digital health company Itamar Medical Ltd. (NASDAQ and TASE: ITMR), 89% of respondents believe they know what sleep apnea is, yet deeper analysis of the data collected suggests that their understanding is superficial, with many uninformed of the wider implications and significance of the disorder. The results also suggest a lack of awareness around the availability of safe and home-based diagnostic options, as well as a distrust of the data collected via commercially available wearable devices.
Once seen as a lifestyle issue often associated with snoring and constant fatigue, sleep apnea is actually a serious health disorder that if left untreated is a risk factor for other life-threatening disorders, including diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). While sleep apnea effects an estimated 54 - 60 million people in the U.S, roughly 80% of sufferers remain undiagnosed and untreated, largely due to the lack of awareness as to the serious nature of the disorder.
This lack of awareness is reflected in the survey findings with a third (33%) of respondents stating they were unaware that they could significantly reduce the health risks associated with CVD, diabetes, and stroke by treating sleep apnea. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has exemplified the importance of home based alternative diagnostic solutions to in-lab sleep testing, when accessing population awareness around Home sleep apnea Testing (HSAT) solutions and their willingness to use such solutions, the survey found that almost a quarter (24%) of respondents did not know of the existence of such options.
Furthermore, while the introduction of popular wearable devices, the survey findings suggest that the majority of consumers do not take these products seriously as healthcare tools. Of the mere 33% of respondents who indicated having used a wearable device or an app to track and/or monitor their sleep, just 41% indicated having taken the results seriously, seeking a medical evaluation and/or treatment.
“While unfortunately not all that surprising, the results of the survey exemplify the need to educate and spread awareness of the serious and life-threatening implications of undiagnosed sleep apnea,” said Gilad Glick, CEO of Itamar Medical. “At Itamar Medical, we are dedicated to bringing about this awareness and providing home-based, easy-to-use, eligible for reimbursement, and non-invasive solutions to address it. An alarming 51% of people still indicate that they would not take a sleep test or seek help for a sleep disorder. We need to address this issue and educate people that there are safe and viable solutions that can be conducted in the comfort of one’s home.”
Other highlights from the survey include:
- The majority (56%) of all respondents stated that if prescribed/required, they would choose a home-based testing solution, as opposed to an in-lab test
- The top three concerns respondents expressed as reasons to not take a sleep test were in regard to cost (27.5%), inconvenience (20%), and fear of infection given the pandemic (16%)
- A quarter (25%) of respondents stated that they were either unaware that snoring could be a sign of a more serious health issue or did not believe it to be true
- 23% of respondents suggested that they would think twice before seeking medical help for a sleep problem, with 28% stating outright that they would not seek medical care at all
The survey, conducted in November 2020, was jointly carried out with Google Consumer Surveys based on a representative sample of more than 1,000 respondents from the United States, aged 18-65+.
About Itamar Medical Ltd.
Itamar Medical is a medical technology company focused on the development and commercialization of non-invasive medical devices and solutions to aid in the diagnosis of respiratory sleep disorders. Itamar Medical commercializes a digital healthcare platform to facilitate the continuum of care for effective sleep apnea management with a focus on the core sleep, cardiology and direct to consumer markets. Itamar Medical offers a Total Sleep Solution to help physicians provide comprehensive sleep apnea management in a variety of clinical environments to optimize patient care and reduce healthcare system costs. The Company’s key product, WatchPAT™, is commercially available within major markets including the US, Japan, and Europe. Itamar Medical is a public company traded on the Nasdaq and on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchanges, and is based in Caesarea, Israel with U.S. headquarters based in Atlanta, GA. For additional information visit www.itamar-medical.com
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