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3D video-based analysis of human motion patterns in sleep

Sleep disorders such as insomnia, hypersomnia, the suspension of breathing at night (apnea), disturbed sleep patterns, disorders in REM sleep, involuntary motions such as periodic leg movements, night terrors, teeth grinding and talking during sleep affect around 20 to 30 percent of the population of western industrialised nations. This is a huge health problem. Sleep disorders lead to secondary disease: untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of stroke by a factor of more than 6 (and by a factor of more than 18 in the event of  simultaneous high blood pressure). This represents a burden on public healthcare.

Today’s method of diagnosis using polysomnography (registers brain, muscle and breathing activity) involves attaching a multitude of sensors to the body. This is prone to error and impairs sleep. Furthermore, sleep laboratories in hospitals are often overbooked and have long waiting times.

For this reason experts at AIT have developed a contactless measurement process with computer-assisted evaluation using 3D video detection and audio signals. This offers the following advantages:

  • Compared to electromyography, 3D analysis offers more specific and therefore more diagnostically relevant information about motion events during sleep.
  • Contactless sensors avoid the problem of poor electrode contact so that data quality is a far less critical factor than for a EMG.
  • No need to fix sensors and cables to the body, thereby saving personnel capacity.
  • In most patients sensors fixed to the body impair sleep; in contrast, contactless sensors with 3D video enable uninterrupted sleep.
  • 3D sleep monitoring is simple to conduct making it also suitable for outpatient and home use.