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Lowering Medical Cost – Sleep Apnea – There’s an App for That!

ResApp gets 510(k) clearance for mobile sleep apnea test SleepCheck

Why it’s important: It involves a lot of people – an estimated 20 million!

It rises with age and obesity, both of which are increasing in the U.S., and it impacts life expectancy.  It’s also associated with costly chronic conditions like high blood pressure, heart attacks and heart failure, strokes, diabetes, and more. Yet, 80% of the people who have it don’t know it, and that is a medical cost time bomb.

Early detection is the first step to defuse the bomb. However, the cost of a sleep apnea lab study at the Medicare rate is $650 and $1,200 with other insurance. The average self-pay cost is $5,384. Home tests are less inconvenient, but still require equipment and careful set up. They cost less at $200 to $450, but also may be less accurate.

Any of the cost numbers above times the 16MM people who don’t know they have it, and should get tested, yields a significant cost. Even at $200 it amounts to $3.2 Billion.

The SleepCheck app requires a prescription and a secure code, but no additional equipment. It currently costs $7.99 on Apple’s app store, and a bit less in Europe where it is commercially available.  At the App Store price, the cost drops to $129 Million – a $3 Billion saving at a minimum, $10.2 Billion at the Medicare rate, $19 Billion at the commercial insurance rate, and $86 Billion at self-pay rates.

That’s for the initial test alone. The savings will increase for each of the 16MM people tested who avoid a chronic or acute medical event.

 

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