Date: 24 August 2020
The RACGP recommends further studies of how the home sleep apnoea device Watch PAT performs in the homes of general practice patients before its inclusion under MBS item 12250. A cautious approach to interpreting clinical outcomes of studies cited in the MSAC application is recommended. Whilst there are potential benefits for regional and rural areas where specialised sleep laboratories are not available, these benefits must be carefully balanced against the reliability of the device in real world settings.
There is also a risk of over diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea using sleep study devices, and strong commercial interests vested in promoting sleep studies, with direct to consumer advertising of sleep studies presenting greater pressures for unnecessary referrals.