INNOBICS-SAHS is a European research project which aims to increase the early diagnosis and treatment of Sleep Apnea Hypopnea Syndrome (SAHS), an underdiagnosed disorder that leads to high mortality and morbidity if not treated in time.
The project aims to create an innovative healthcare pathway that facilitates early diagnosis of SAHS, improves integration between primary care and hospital sleep units and produces better healthcare outcomes while improving the patient journey experience. Within this context, INNOBICS-SAHS is developing a digital platform that will enhance communication between primary care centers and hospital sleep units and integrate tools for diagnosis, data exchange and monitoring.
The Catalan Health Institute of Girona (ICS) and the Josep Trueta Hospital are leading this project in which seven partners from Spain and Portugal are participating. The project started in March 2022, is scheduled to last three years and has a budget of 3.1 million euros. It is being partially funded by EIT Health, an organization co-funded by the European Union.
The consortium has set up the following specific goals to achieve within the project:
The project relies on previous studies led by the project coordinators which demonstrated that SAHS can be diagnosed in the primary care setting and that automatic analysis allows for the diagnosis of obstructive apnea, especially when it is severe. Thus, the consortium expects that a shared therapeutic process will improve early diagnosis rates of SAHS in primary care, reducing and anticipating neurocognitive alterations and cardiovascular comorbidities.
Furthermore, referrals to hospital sleep units are expected to be reduced by 60% due to the increasing diagnostic capacity of primary care by this new pathway.
Following an agile methodology, the solution will be designed, developed and tested in two regional healthcare ecosystems: Catalonia and Lisbon. International standards for interoperability will be used, as INNOBICS-SAHS targets the commercialization of results in other regions and EU countries.
“Despite multiple attempts to improve the diagnosis of Sleep Apnea Hypopnea Syndrome and the high cardiovascular comorbidity and neurocognitive problems presented by patients, there is still an underdiagnosis of 80-90%. Thus, not diagnosing and treating SAHS correctly is a serious public health problem”, says project coordinator Dr. Anton Obrador.