Wallace Lawson MSN, APRN, FNP-C

Houston Sleep and Narcolepsy


 Houston, TX

WatchPAT Portable Sleep-Apnea Diagnostic System

The WatchPAT Portable Sleep-Apnea Diagnostic System is an FDA-approved diagnostic tool for monitoring patients' sleep habits to detect sleep apnea, which is a breathing disorder caused by an abnormal closing of the airway during sleep. Patients with sleep apnea are often unaware that they are suffering from a disorder, believing that symptoms such as snoring, daytime sleepiness, and waking with a headache are "normal."

How the WatchPAT System Works

Although many sleep studies are performed in testing facilities, the WatchPAT system can be used in a patient's home. During a WatchPAT sleep study, a small recording device is attached to the patient's wrist, and its noninvasive probe is attached to the patient's finger. Any changes in peripheral arterial tone, and changes in the nervous system caused by respiratory disturbance, are recorded by the device. The WatchPAT system monitors the following as the patient sleeps:

  • Blood oxygen level
  • Heart rate
  • Body movement
  • Body position
  • Snoring intensity
  • Respiratory disturbances
  • Rapid eye movement (REM)

The data from the device is transferred to a doctor's computer through a USB port, resulting in a detailed sleep report. Based on the information in the report, treatment ranging from nasal decongestants to surgery may be recommended.

Risks of the WatchPAT System

There are no risks associated with the WatchPAT system, and it provides a reliable and accurate diagnosis.


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