The NCHC Assembles The Sleep Apnea Visual Diagnosis Platform
In the past, the NCHC teamed up with Chang Gung Memorial Hospital to develop the Cranioplasty Surgery Platform. Now, the NCHC is again joining forces with the Chang Gung Hospital Sleep Center to help shed new light on sleep apnea disorder. For this collaboration, we combined medical images with data supplied by the medical center to develop a Sleep Apnea Visual Diagnosis Platform. This new platform helps doctors more efficiently examine sleep apnea patients and provide the proper treatment. This platform also helps to reduce Medicare costs and alleviate suffering. So far, this platform has been used to successfully provide relief to more than ten patients who suffer from sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea--An Invisible Killer to Quality of Sleep
As Taiwanese pay more attention to their health, more and more people are paying greater attention to the quality of sleep they get. In Taiwan, about 450,000 adults are affected by sleep apnea to some degree but most of them don't even know it. Sleep apnea leads to interrupted sleep, a decrease in the level of oxygen in the blood, as well as a general decrease in the quality of sleep. To receive a proper diagnosis, the patient must stay and sleep at the Sleep Center for 1~2 days and have a polysomnography (PSG) test measure their breathing. Currently, there is a one year wait period for the test.
In the near future, using the Sleep Apnea Visual Diagnosis Platform jointly developed by the NCHC and Chang Gung Hospital, the same diagnosis can be done in a few minutes to a few hours. This will greatly reduce the load on the Sleep Center and allow patients faster access to treatment.
Sleep Apnea Visual Diagnosis Platform
The Sleep Apnea Visual Diagnosis Platform creates an individualized respiratory tract database for every patient. When the patient's medical images are input into the system, the HPC platform computes the patient’s airflow through the respiratory tract, thus diagnosing the severity of the condition. Also, the platform can assist physicians in comparing the pre and post operation air flow.
The Sleep Apnea Visual Diagnosis Platform was developed through the efforts of experts from various fields. The platform's flow computation and 3D image processing were actually developed by two different teams at the NCHC. The NCHC has some 20 years of HPC computing expertise and the fastest supercomputers in Taiwan. Also, the NCHC brought together more than ten HPC domain experts from fields such as plasma flow, computational physics, computational chemistry, photovoltaics, medical imaging, visualization, and information science to develop this platform.
The first phase of the Sleep Apnea Visual Diagnosis Platform is completed and is currently being tested in area hospitals. In the future, the platform will be used for pre-surgery diagnosis. As testing of the platform progresses, it will be introduced at other area hospitals also.