x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Technology for a good night’s sleep in the UAE

Deya Mudallal, a Dubai-based senior regional sales manager for Philips Healthcare, discusses how technology is evolving at his company to address issues such as sleep apnea.

More consumer electronics and lifestyle companies are increasing suites of sleep-monitoring devices and upgrading slumber-tracking features. Here, Deya Mudallal, a Dubai-based senior regional sales manager for Philips Healthcare, discusses how technology is evolving at his company to address issues such as sleep apnea.

Why is sleep such a focus for Philips in the Arabian Gulf region?

We spend about one-third of our lives asleep. It’s a big part of our life and the quality of sleep contributes a lot to how we feel and act during the day. There is more awareness of enjoying better quality of sleep. Sometimes two hours of good-quality sleep is better than four hours that is interrupted.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines that help with sleep apnea have been evolving. How does the technology work, and how has it changed?

The idea is to pump air in the airway so it can stay open during sleep and doesn’t collapse, so we’re applying air with certain pressure. The latest tech is where it changes automatically, according to the patient’s needs. Previously, we used to give one level of pressure, so sometimes it could be annoying for patients, but now the technology has adapted more to the patient’s needs.

Sleep technology available in the Gulf often lags what is released in North America. Was that the case with this CPAP machine?

It’s the same technology in North America, but there we started a new service called EncoreAnywhere, which means data can be sent wirelessly from a patient’s home to a clinic. A modem in the machine can communicate remotely and download records from patients—there is no need for a technician to visit a home. Today we don’t have this service in our region, [but] we believe we’ll have access to this service starting in 2014.

What are the costs in the UAE?

The average cost of the sleep study ranges from US$400 to $1,000, depending on if it’s a private or public hospital and one night or two. If a patient is prescribed to have a CPAP machine, it costs $500 to $2,000, depending on the features.

business@thenational.ae