AI to help the sleep-deprived catch more Zzs

People who struggle to get a good night’s sleep and seek medical help for the problem are producing mega data on things like eye movement, breathing, brain activity and restless legs. Which is to say sleep medicine is as ripe as any field in healthcare for help from AI.

Help is already on the way in the form of, for example, an AI tool that can help diagnose narcolepsy, a machine-learning system that predicts success with sleep-apnea therapies and even an AI chatbot to help apnea patients troubleshoot problems with their CPAP regimens.  

The narcolepsy diagnostics, in development at Stanford, would train algorithms to pinpoint unusual slumber patterns more accurately than a human sleep technician could, according to a rundown of some works in progress posted in the journal Sleep Review.  

“Right now [sleep test scoring] is done by technicians, and clearly, there is no reason why it couldn’t be done by a computer,” says the director of Stanford’s Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, in the article. “Sleep studies are quite complicated, a bit subjective, so artificial intelligence is really ideal.”

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