04. Big Data solutions for healthy sleep

Holger Woehrle.
Ulm, Germany

Big data solutions for healthy sleep


Digitization has led to access to various data and has given us the opportunity to analyze it. With different, especially mobile, technologies arising, the so-called “big data” has emerged. Big data refers to datasets that are too big, diverse and complex for data processing techniques that have been used in the past. With the development of machine learning, actionable/artificial intelligence guide decision making processes, also in medicine. First examples are skin lesions and pulmonary nodules. Also, self-management systems can be developed to optimize disease management, especially through the development of systems that engage the patient. While physicians have focused on developing systems for “crisis management” (predicting exacerbations of underlying disease), industry-driven approaches have been focused on stabilizing health/disease. Sleep medicine is currently the leading field for the use of mHealth/eHealth. Offerings vary from sophisticated sleep apps like SleepScore to online sleep self-management systems for patients with insomnia like Sleepio, while telemonitoring for sleep apnea currently represents the leading area of applied telehealth technology, with data of more than 1 billion nights already. Sleep medicine is just the first area where digitization takes place due to a lack of care provided by most health systems, but other areas, especially Respiratory Medicine, will follow. It is time to change the current paradigm of medicine, where health care providers serve mainly as experts, to using modern technology (big data/machine learning/artificial intelligence) to improve decision making in healthcare while focusing on getting back to the original task of physicians by engaging and guiding patients during their journey through health and disease.

– Specialist in respiratory and sleep medicine leading a large outpatient lung and sleep center.

– Largest center for telehealth in sleep in Germany with 5000 PAP-patients being connected with the center.

– Leader of the working group on digital pulmonology within the German Board of Pulmonologists.

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