Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) affects 425 million people globally at a mild to severe level requiring treatment, but over 80% of them remain undiagnosed. Optalert’s technology can now alert the 92 million people in Europe, 24 million in the USA, and 309 million across the rest of the world with undiagnosed OSA to seek diagnosis and treatment.
Optalert is ready to unlock a market worth €106 billion (US$113 billion) across Europe and the United States after discovering a new biomarker for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
After leading the world with its objective measurement of drowsiness, the firm has now made a breakthrough in screening for OSA, a condition affecting 425 million people globally at a mild to severe level requiring treatment.
Over 15 years ago, Optalert commercialised its technology that measures drowsiness using its patented Johns Drowsiness Scale (JDS™). The technology is built on blepharometry, the study of upper eyelid movements. This is a window into the underlying neurological state of a subject, of which drowsiness is but one aspect. Optalert’s R&D team embarked on a real-world study across hundreds of drivers across its fleet. The team soon built a blepharometry-based model that could screen for OSA in awake subjects with an area under curve (AUC) exceeding 75%.
Until now, the only way to detect OSA has been via a sleep study. Optalert’s technology is passive and non-invasive – it only requires a camera or equivalent sensor to be trained on a wide-awake subject and tracking their eyelid movements over time.
Screening can be done anywhere: at home, at work, or even in your car while you drive!
The proliferation of RGB-IR cameras entering vehicle cabins in driver monitoring systems is a powerful avenue to unlock this market. Optalert’s vision is that the vehicle will be a site for ubiquitous health screening. This will facilitate early treatment of a range of health conditions and prolong healthful lifespans. OSA will be the first radical leap in this burgeoning field and the OSA device manufacturers stand to tap a previously inaccessible lucrative market via in-vehicle health screening.
Tracking neurological health across all vehicle drivers and occupants.
Optalert sees this as the first step in a bold vision in which neurological health is tracked across all vehicle drivers and occupants. And this could do even more than detect drowsiness and sleep disorders. It is showing promise in early screening of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative conditions. Detection of these far in advance of visible symptoms will add years or even decades of neurological well-being to millions of people in the future. Optalert’s mission is to give everyone access to a comprehensive set of health tests that are low-cost, frequent, and non-invasive – all in the blink of an eye.
If you’re in the automotive sector, visit our Automotive page and learn about how you can integrate our technology via a software development kit (SDK) into your driver monitoring system (DMS).
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