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Castillo-Escario, Y., Ferrer-Lluis, I., Montserrat, J. M., Jané, R., (2019). Automatic silence events detector from smartphone audio aignals: A pilot mHealth system for sleep apnea monitoring at home Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE , IEEE (Berlín, Germany) , 4982-4985

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a prevalent disease, but most patients remain undiagnosed and untreated. Recently, mHealth tools are being proposed to screen OSA patients at home. In this work, we analyzed full-night audio signals recorded with a smartphone microphone. Our objective was to develop an automatic detector to identify silence events (apneas or hypopneas) and compare its performance to a commercial portable system for OSA diagnosis (ApneaLink™, ResMed). To do that, we acquired signals from three subjects with both systems simultaneously. A sleep specialist marked the events on smartphone and ApneaLink signals. The automatic detector we developed, based on the sample entropy, identified silence events similarly than manual annotation. Compared to ApneaLink, it was very sensitive to apneas (detecting 86.2%) and presented an 83.4% positive predictive value, but it missed about half the hypopnea episodes. This suggests that during some hypopneas the flow reduction is not reflected in sound. Nevertheless, our detector accurately recognizes silence events, which can provide valuable respiratory information related to the disease. These preliminary results show that mHealth devices and simple microphones are promising non-invasive tools for personalized sleep disorders management at home.

Keywords: Detectors, Manuals, Sleep apnea, Microphones, Labeling, Hospitals