The Greek word “apnea” literally means “without breath.” The three types of apnea are obstructive, central, and mixed. Obstructive is the most common type. Despite the difference in the root cause of the three types of apnea, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for 1 min or longer. Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle accidents. Apart from the physical health risks, sleep apnea can lead to social problems when left undiagnosed or untreated such as a high amount of unnecessary health care cost. Sleep disorder is diagnosed with polysomnography, an overnight sleep study, by monitoring electrical activity of brain, heart, eye movement, muscle activity, breathing pattern, and other physiological signals. Because polysomnography requires overnight monitoring by a sleep technologist with full sleep staging, polysomnography is expensive, inconvenient, time consuming, and labor intensive. Although some systems provide home based diagnosis, most systems record the sleep data in a memory card. The patient must send the memory card to a medical center through the mail or internet. The real-time monitoring is not performed and a patient can experience life threatening episodes by not receiving proper feedback from a medical center or a physician. We propose a wireless health monitoring system to diagnose sleep apnea, which enables the global monitoring of biomedical signals. A patient does not need hospitalization and can be diagnosed and receive feedback at home. The system supports monitoring five different biomedical signals to diagnose sleep apnea: electrocardiogram with dry electrodes (no gel), body position, nasal airflow, abdomen/chest efforts and oxygen saturation. The system consists of three units: a wireless transmitter, a wireless receiver, and a monitoring unit. A wireless transmitter unit sends the measured signals from sensors to a receiver unit with Zigbee communication. The receiver unit, which has two wireless modules, Zigbee and Wi-Fi, receives signals from the transmitter unit and retransmits signals to the remote monitoring system with Zigbee and Wi-Fi communication, respectively. By using both the Zigbee network and wireless LAN, the system can achieve low power consumption in a local monitoring area with the feature of the Zigbee standard. The system also provides wide data coverage and easily extends its sensor network to the Internet with the Wi-Fi standard. The features of the system and the results of the continuous monitoring of vital signals are presented.

1.
]
Mendez
,
M. O.
,
Bianchi
,
A. M.
,
Matteucci
,
M.
,
Cerutti
,
S.
, and
Penzel
,
T.
, 2009, “
Sleep Apnea Screening by Autoregressive Models From a Single ECG Lead
,”
IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng.
0018-9294,
56
(
12
), pp.
2838
2850
.
3.
Hillman
,
D. R.
,
et al.
, 2006, “
The Economic Cost of Sleep Disorders
,”
J. Sleep Res.
0962-1105,
29
(
3
), pp.
299
305
.
4.
Khaled
,
M. A.-A.
,
Hisham
,
M. H.
, and
Ahmed
,
A. M.
, 2006, “
FPGA-Based Sleep Apnea Screening Device for Home Monitoring
,”
Proceedings of the 28th IEEE EMBS Annual International Conference
, pp.
5948
5951
.
5.
Young
,
T.
,
Palta
,
M.
,
Dempsey
,
J.
,
Skatrud
,
J.
,
Weber
,
S.
, and
Badr
,
S.
, 1993, “
The Occurrence of Sleep-Disordered Breathing Among Middle-Aged Adults
,”
N. Engl. J. Med.
0028-4793,
328
, pp.
1230
1235
.
6.
Website of the National Sleep Foundation
, www.sleepfoundation.orgwww.sleepfoundation.org
7.
Wang
,
L.
,
Noel
,
E.
,
Fong
,
C.
,
Kamoua
,
R.
, and
Tang
,
K. W.
, 2006, “
A Wireless Sensor System for Biopotential Recording in the Treatment of Sleep Apnea Disorder
,”
Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Network, Sensing and Control
, pp.
404
409
.
9.
Khandoker
,
A. H.
,
Gubbi
,
J.
, and
Palaniswami
,
M.
, 2009, “
Automated Scoring of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Hypopnea Events Using Short-Term Electrocardiogram Recording
,”
IEEE Trans. Inf. Technol. Biomed.
1089-7771,
13
(
6
), pp.
1057
1067
.
10.
Obeid
,
I.
,
Nicolelis
,
M.
, and
Wolf
,
P.
, 2004, “
A Multichannel Telemetry System for Single Unit Neural Recordings
,”
J. Neurosci. Methods
0165-0270,
133
(
1–2
), pp.
33
38
.
11.
Rasid
,
M.
, and
Woodward
,
B.
, 2005, “
Bluetooth Telemedicine Processor for Multichannel Biomedical Signal Transmission via Mobile Cellular Networks
,”
IEEE Trans. Inf. Technol. Biomed.
1089-7771,
9
(
1
), pp.
35
43
.
12.
Fulford-Jones
,
T.
,
Wei
,
G.
, and
Welsh
,
M.
, 2004, “
A Portable, Low-Power, Wireless Two-Lead EKG System
,”
Proceedings of the 26th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society IEMBS '04
, Vol.
1
, pp.
2141
2144
.
13.
Yao
,
J.
,
Schmitz
,
R.
, and
Warren
,
S.
, 2005, “
A Wearable Point-of-Care System for Home Use That Incorporates Plug-and-Play and Wireless Standards
,”
IEEE Trans. Inf. Technol. Biomed.
1089-7771,
9
(
3
), pp.
363
371
.
14.
Varadan
,
V. K.
,
Oh
,
S.
,
Kwon
,
H.
, and
Hankins
,
P.
, 2010, “
Wireless Point-of-Care Diagnosis for Sleep Disorder With Dry Nanowire Electrode
,”
J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med.
1949-2944,
1
, p.
031012
.
15.
Oh
,
S.
,
Kwon
,
H.
,
Yoon
,
H.
, and
Varadan
,
V. K.
, 2010, “
Application of Wireless Sensor System on Security Network
,”
Proc. SPIE
0277-786X,
7646
, p.
76460W
.
16.
Iber
,
C.
,
Ancoli-Israel
,
S.
,
Chesson
,
A. L.
, Jr.
, and
Quan
,
S. F.
, 2007, The AASM Manual for the Scoring of Sleep and Associated Events, American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
You do not currently have access to this content.