Sleep Apnea European Landscape


  • Sleep apnea (SA) is one of the most common respiratory disorder, with 49% of middle-aged men reportedly having clinically significant SA in Europe.
  • The symptoms are loud snoring, episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person, abrupt awakenings, insomnia, morning headache, daytime hypersomnia, tiredness, irritability, mood swings and attention problems.
  • These symptoms are likely to manifest in obese patients, patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke and asthma.
  • Improvements of PG systems, inclusion of more parameters (such as ECG), introduction of portable and wireless devices seem to be the most prominent trends around SAS screening/diagnosis and ECG/ Polygraphy systems.

Sleep apnea (SA) is one of the most common respiratory disorder, with 49% of middle-aged men reportedly having clinically significant SA in Europe. The prevalence of SA with associated excessive daytime somnolence is ~3% to 7% in adult men & 2% to 5% in adult women. Sleep tests are usually prescribed by sleep specialists, pulmonologists, cardiologists or neurologists. Choice of which test to use is up to the prescribing physician.

SA screening tests are usually prescribed based on the presence of typical symptoms such as loud snoring, episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person, abrupt awakenings, insomnia, morning headache, daytime hypersomnia, tiredness, irritability, mood swings and attention problems. These symptoms are likely to manifest in obese patients, patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke and asthma. Improvements of PG systems, inclusion of more parameters (such as ECG), introduction of portable and wireless devices seem to be the most prominent trends around SAS screening/diagnosis and ECG/ Polygraphy systems.

There is also an increasing demand for home sleep studies and therefore a need for more patient-friendly devices which could improve compliance. Wearable devices and smartphone based technologies are perceived to be the next trend in SA diagnostics. Philips is the top most supplier providing the polygraphs. There are numerous unmet needs around SAS screening/ diagnostics. As previously mentioned, most important ones pertain to too few parameters monitored by PG, resulting in less comprehensive assessment of sleep structure.

Therefore there is a need for more advanced PG devices and in general for more quick, easy to use and reliable diagnostic methods. Current price of home PG devices and tests itself are perceived by some physicians as too high, so any price reduction would be positive.