Scientists in Australia have come up with a non-invasive screening tool for detecting obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
Snoring is a very early symptom of sleep apnoea, however, monitoring the changes in pitch, frequency and other characteristics of the snores can help detect OSA.
Biomedical engineer and co-researcher Dr Udantha Abeyratne, of the University of Queensland have developed a non-contact method of screening patients suspected of OSA, which could eventually be used at home.
Abeyratne says the device records the sounds of a person's snoring, which "is a very early symptom of sleep apnea."
Currently, the only way to diagnose a person with OSA is to have them spend a night at a sleep center or hospital, hooked up to a machine that monitors their sleep continuously.
"There are very long waiting lists to come into the hospital and get tested," ABC Online quoted Abeyratne as saying.
He said compared to the traditional method of diagnosing OSA, the sound recordings method is 90pct accurate.
Abeyratne hopes the technology will be available for use in people's homes in the next three to five years.