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News Release 09-211 - Video

Ioannis Pavlidis and Dr. Jayasimha N. Murthy discuss their new sleep apnea diagnosis tool.

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Traditional sleep studies use a variety of leads and probes on the patient's upper and lower face to gather data. In a media briefing held last week, Ioannis Pavlidis, Eckhard-Pfeiffer Professor of Computer Science at the University of Houston and Jayasimha N. Murthy, M.D., assistant professor of medicine from the Division of Pulmonary Critical Care Sleep Medicine at UTHSC at Houston describe a new method for diagnosis they have created. Called thermal infrared imaging (TIRI), the new method eliminates the needs for the two most obtrusive probes under the nose, the thermistor and nasal pressure probe. Data is collected from a distance by a thermal camera. As the patient breathes in, cooler atmospheric air is brought into his or her nostrils, creating a unique thermal signature for inhale. On exhale, the air expelled from the lungs is warmer. TIRI not only makes it more comfortable for the patient to sleep during the study, but it gathers much more data from an array of points across the patients lower face. The traditionally used thermistor only yields information about a specific point.

Credit: National Science Foundation, University of Houston

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