A new sleep pattern monitoring system has been developed by UK researchers to help spot sleep disturbance in people diagnosed with early dementia. The system, known as PAViS, could be used remotely by healthcare workers to view sleep profiles and analyse sleep patterns based on sensory data gathered at the patient’s home.
Writing in the International Journal of Computers in Healthcare, Huiru Zheng and colleagues at the University of Ulster explain how sleep disturbance is one of the most distressing of symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease and might also be an early indicator of the onset of the disease in some cases. They point out that so-called “telecare” systems allow healthcare workers to monitor patient activity whether in normal or supported housing.”
“Various systems have been developed in recent years to monitor sleeping patients. PAViS, pattern analysis and visualisation system, allows healthcare workers to quickly see shifts in sleep pattern and detect unusual patterns in order to assess the changes in health condition of people with early dementia over the course of weeks and months. Data are collected from infrared movement detectors and sensors on bedroom and other doors in the patient’s home. This provides a non-invasive, pervasive and objective monitoring and assessment solution, the team says.
The team has worked with Paul Jeffers of the Fold Housing Association in Holywood on patient case studies to demonstrate proof of principle in monitoring a patient’s total amount of sleep time, sleep episodes and their rhythm of sleep. The PAViS component of their approach daily, weekly and monthly charts to allow sleep patterns, and more importantly changing patterns, to be spotted quickly and easily.
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