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Smartphone videos to predict the severity of obstructive sleep apnoea
  1. Rahul J Thomas1,
  2. Samuel Dalton1,
  3. Katharine Harman1,
  4. Julie Thacker2,
  5. Rosemary S C Horne2,3,
  6. Margot J Davey1,3,
  7. Gillian M Nixon1,3
  1. 1 Melbourne Children's Sleep Centre, Monash Children's Hospital, Monash Health, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 The Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3 Department of Paediatrics, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to A/Prof Gillian M Nixon, Melbourne Children's Sleep Centre, Monash Children's Hospital, Monash Health, Clayton, VIC 3168, Australia; gillian.nixon{at}


Objective Diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is made on overnight polysomnography (PSG). Given the widespread availability of smartphone video technology, we aimed to develop and test a standardised scoring system for smartphone videos and compare these scores to PSG results.

Methods Children aged 1–16 years undergoing PSG for suspected OSA were included. Parents were asked to take 1–2 min videos of the breathing they were concerned about. Videos were scored using a newly developed and tested tool on five components: inspiratory obstructive noises (1–4), presence of obstructive events (0–1), increased work of breathing (0–1), mouth breathing (0–1) and neck extension (0–1). Video scores and the Obstructive Apnoea Hypopnoea Index (OAHI) were compared using Spearman correlation. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were calculated for different cut-off scores to achieve the best results.

Results Videos from 43 children (28 men (65.1%), median age 5.7 years (range 2.6–14.0 years), median OAHI 3.8/hour (range 0–82 events/hour) were included. Nine children (20.9%) had a video score of <3, all of whom had an OAHI of ≤5 events/hour. For a video score of ≥3, sensitivity was 100%; specificity was 36%; positive predictive value was 53%; and negative predictive value 100% for moderate to severe OSA (OAHI>5 events/hour) .

Conclusion We have developed and validated a simple clinical tool (the Monash Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Video Score) to quantify abnormalities in breathing seen on short video recordings made on a smartphone. A low score rules out moderate–severe OSA and may be valuable in the triage of children with symptoms of OSA.

  • sleep
  • technology

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  • Contributors RSCH, MJD and GMN conceived and designed the study. RJT, SD, KH and JT undertook data acquisition. RJT, SD and GMN analysed the data. All authors contributed to the interpretation of the data. RJT and GMN drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to the revision of the manuscript and gave approval of the final manuscript for publication.

  • Funding This work was supported by Equity Trustees.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Author note The work described in this article was carried out at the Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre, Monash Children’s Hospital and the Department of Paediatrics, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

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