Consumer sleep technologies are non-prescription devices such as wearables and mobile apps that are directly marketed to consumers to monitor sleep, improve sleep quality, or screen for sleep disorders. However, there are minimal data validating the ability of these devices to accurately perform these functions, and to date almost no consumer sleep devices have undergone review by the FDA.
The lack of validation data and absence of FDA clearance raises concerns about the accuracy of consumer sleep technology. Therefore, it is important for healthcare providers to understand the capabilities and limitations of these devices.
“Given the heightened public awareness of the importance of sleep, and of diagnosing and treating sleep disorders, I believe we will continue to see more patient-generated health data,” said lead author Dr. Seema Khosla, the medical director of the North Dakota Center for Sleep in Fargo. “We need some guidance both for how to utilize consumer sleep technology in our practice and also how to communicate with our patients about the specific metrics their devices are measuring.”
The position statement was published in the May 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
As the popularity of consumer sleep technology continues to grow, clinicians are increasingly asked to analyze patient-generated health data. However, healthcare providers must recognize that this data should be considered in the context of a comprehensive sleep evaluation and should not replace validated diagnostic testing.
Despite their limitations, consumer sleep devices may increase awareness of the importance of sleep and the potential presence of a sleep disorder. Therefore, this technology can promote meaningful interactions between patients and clinicians when discussed during an appropriate clinical evaluation.