GE Healthcare introduces OSA diagnostic tool for inpatient cardiac patients


GE Healthcare introduced MARS® Virtual Sleep Lab (VSL), the first device to provide a streamlined view of quantitative cardiac and sleep apnea analysis from any GE-monitored inpatient bed, helping enhance speed of diagnosis. MARS VSL is being featured at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 59th Annual Scientific Session, held March 14 to 16 in Atlanta.

Integrating a sleep disorder diagnostic tool into hospital cardiac care represents an important advance, as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) impacts up to 50 percent of all heart disease patients. When sleep disorders are diagnosed and treated early, it has been shown to improve cardiac conditions. Left undiagnosed, sleep apnea can increase heart disease risks.

More than 80 percent of individuals with moderate-to-severe OSA have not been clinically diagnosed. Powered by the WideMed Ltd. Morpheus® Hx sleep apnea diagnosis program, MARS VSL enables OSA diagnosis right from the hospital bed. This transforms in-patient rooms into virtual sleep labs, and enables a bedside diagnosis by improving utilization of monitored data to provide diagnostic information. According to a recent Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine study, connecting the WideMed automated sleep analysis system to hospital monitors achieves results highly correlated with the standard test conducted in sleep labs— polysomnography.

“With MARS VSL, hospitals can quickly and effectively test cardiac patients for sleep apnea, utilizing existing physiological data for retrospective analysis,” said Dr. Matthias Weber, vice president and GM of Global Diagnostic Cardiology at GE Healthcare. “Eliminating this delay in sleep apnea diagnosis supports GE’s healthymagination vision for enhancing outcomes, enabling timely access to treatment and ultimately, reducing costs.”

MARS VSL automatically reports on clinical data that is critical for making a sleep apnea diagnosis, such as apnea hypopnea index, sleep staging and respiratory events. Following a sleep apnea diagnosis, an AutoPAP device can be immediately prescribed while the patient is still in the hospital. This increases the chance that OSA patients can begin treatment before other complications develop.

“MARS VSL will help the sleep community reach previously undiagnosed patients, helping improve outcomes by detection of sleep apnea in a critical-care setting, and put the patient on the road to the appropriate sleep-related therapy,” said Guarav Agarwal, GM of Respiratory Care at GE Healthcare. “Furthermore, MARS VSL will enable management of the patient rather than the management of the symptoms of this life-threatening disease.”

Quantitative Cardiac Monitoring From Any Connected Inpatient Bed:

MARS VSL enables not only sleep apnea diagnostic testing, but also quantitative Holter analysis for in-hospital cardiac patients. Holter devices collect cardiac information from patient monitors and perform a quantitative analysis not traditionally performed in the monitoring environment. Because MARS VSL directly links into the GE Healthcare CARESCAPE™ CIC Pro—a central station monitor that assimilates real-time and historical patient data from multiple monitoring sources—a quantitative Holter analysis can now be immediately performed from any connected patient bed, without the need for locating and attaching additional monitoring equipment. Data can then be collected and analyzed anytime, anywhere and for any connected patient bed, then archived to enhance future clinical decision-making.

MARS VSL leverages the clinical heritage of Marquette® clinical monitoring and risk-detection analysis programs. Hospitals can use MARS VSL with existing cardiac technologies to enhance clinical workflow. It enables integration with systems such as:

  • CARESCAPE™ Monitor B850 (via CARESCAPE CIC Pro central station)—the latest GE Healthcare bedside monitor that directly links clinical users to electronic medical records (EMRs), diagnostic images, lab results and real-time patient monitoring data, to support efficient clinical decision-making.
  • MUSE® Cardiology Information System—a cardiac repository that facilitates ECG analysis and comparisons to the patient’s prior ECG, supporting improved workflow and more informed clinical decisions. MUSE is a central hub for cardiology records, which now incorporates both patient monitoring and MARS VSL clinical information, while continuing to enable connectivity into the electronic medical record.

MARS VSL Availability

MARS VSL is currently available for purchase in the U.S. The sleep apnea detection integration is initially available to U.S. medical centers, and will be rolled out to select European and Asian locations later in the year. Outside the U.S., medical centers can currently purchase MARS® Enterprise i, which integrates Holter ECG analysis with vital signs from clinical monitoring, helping to streamline cardiac diagnostics.