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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Philips reveals the two big issues stopping Aussies from getting quality sleep

Health Industry Hub | March 24, 2021 |

MedTech News: Philips announced the findings from its global sleep survey.

Philips 6th annual sleep survey of 13,000 adults in 13 countries, including Australia, captured attitudes, perceptions, and behaviours around sleep, one year since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the beginning of COVID-19, 64% of Australians have experienced one or more new sleep challenges, with 44% of Australians stating they now wake up during the night since the pandemic began. Close to half of those surveyed (40%) cited worry/stress – particularly related to financial challenges (58%) and the pandemic (37%) itself – as a top barrier to getting good sleep. In 2021, 28% of Australians stated they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep.

Australians have more actively sought to address their poor sleep patterns since the Philips 2020 survey.

  • This year, 31% of Australians tried to reduce their caffeine intake,
  • One-in-four (25%) took up reading, and more than one-in-ten (11%) took up meditation as a means of getting a better night’s sleep in 2021.

Chair of Australia’s Sleep Health Foundation, Dr. Shantha Rajaratnam commented on the findings of this year’s Global Sleep Survey and the importance of good sleep saying “Sleep is a deeply important part of our overall health and well-being, in fact, effective and regular sleep is a vital gateway to optimising overall personal health.

“Recent studies, similar to this report from Philips, have demonstrated the important role sleep plays in allowing us to effectively manage our emotional regulation and mental health, along with our overall cognitive ability.

“Sleep should be considered our third pillar of developing a healthy lifestyle – alongside a well-managed diet and regular exercise.”

While people may have relied on lifestyle strategies to address their sleep woes, many turned to online searches to learn more about treatments to improve sleep (35%). With telehealth on the rise during the pandemic, less than half of Australians (43%) expressed a willingness to seek help in the future for sleep related concerns from a sleep specialist through telehealth, with many (66%) believing it would be difficult to find one through an online or telephone-based program.

“This year’s survey results confirm what we’ve believed to be true for a while: the slow adoption of telehealth is not due to a lack of technology,” said Penny Stewart, General Manager Sleep and Respiratory Care at Philips Australia & New Zealand.

“The tools required to deliver telehealth efficiently and reliably already exist, and the interest from consumers is apparent, particularly in the face of COVID-19. When used properly, sleep telehealth can potentially help to enhance efficiency and quality of care, improve health outcomes, empower patients to make informed decisions, and provide equitable healthcare for all. Since the beginning of 2020, we have seen a 35% increase in the average number of unique devices connecting to Philips’ cloud-based patient management services every day.”

Sleep apnoea continues to impact quality of sleep across the world, with a slight increase in globally reported cases from those that have been diagnosed with the issue since last year (2020: 9% vs. 2021: 12%).

COVID-19 could be a potential inhibitor to CPAP therapy use among sleep apnoea patients, with 84% of Australian patients stating they have altered their sleep apnoea treatment since the beginning of the pandemic and 43% stating they have stopped treatment due to COVID-19. 22% of those who reported discontinuing the therapy cited a lack of access to supplies due to COVID-19 related reason, with 17% citing concerns around their ability to spread COVID through the use of a CPAP device.


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