Grand Blanc Firm Develops Sleep Apnea Test App

GRAND BLANC — The Grand Blanc-based custom software developer Spud Software has developed a sleep apnea testing app for clients Dr. Mark Rittenger and Dr. Gregory Streff of the Grand Blanc medical practice Michigan Lung and Critical Care Specialists.

In sleep apnea, a patient’s airway becomes blocked during sleep, causing severe snoring. If left untreated it can cause serious cardiovascular problems.

Sleep apnea is usually diagnosed through a night-long sleep study in a sleep laboratory. With the new app, patients can be tested for apnea from home — or anywhere else.

“These sleep studies are usually done in a sleep lab, with the patient hooked up to wires, and monitored during sleep by a sleep technologist,” Spud president Derek Sommer said. “With this app, patients will now have the option to take the test from home.”

Many patients are unable or unwilling to have an in-lab study, or their insurance company may only cover a home sleep test, so it would deter them from getting tested.

Now patients can receive the phone with the app installed, which is protected by a case designed to protect the phone during the sleep study. The protective case and wire harness is military grade while the app contains easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. The app is expected to be approved soon by the FDA for patient use.

“Sleep apnea is a very serious condition that can lead to bigger problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke,” Sommer said. “If we can increase the amount of people willing to take the tests by simplifying the procedure, then we have hit our goal.”

As many as 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea.

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