The watch-PAT test is worn on the wrist instead of involving the head or chest. This has proven to increase patient comfort because there is no nasal cannula. There are two finger probes instead. The first is the oximetry probe, which measures blood oxygen, and the other is the PAT probe. PAT stands for Peripheral Arterial Tone. The watch—PAT– processes this information and reports it in the familiar terms of AHI (Apnea Hypopnea Index) and RDI (Respiratory Disturbance Index). These two numbers, along with other medical factors for a patient, give a sleep doctor vital information as to whether or not treatment may be necessary.
The most interesting fact about the watch-PAT is that it can be used to give a sleep test to a patient already on treatment. If a patient is already using oxygen or a CPAP, he or she would not be able to take a sleep test with a cannula because the patient may already be wearing one for their oxygen, or a mask for their CPAP machine. With the watch-PAT, the patient can still use treatment and take the test at the same time. This is very valuable in testing the effectiveness of the patient’s therapy. Any necessary adjustments can be made from the results of this test.
There have been many developments in the testing and treatment of sleep apnea. If you have concerns about your sleep, make an appointment with your doctor and a test as simple as this one may have you on your way to a better night’s rest.