Ever since our founding in 2002 we have strived to enable faster and more efficient diagnosis of patients. We set off with sleep apnea remote services, and today we are a well-established medical techonology company expanded to cardiac data analytics, versatile remote diagnostics services and medical devices. However, our story goes further beyond to the 1980’s where a persistent team of technical and medical professionals strived to develop executable sleep apnea diagnosis methods.
Behind many successes we can find individuals and teams with strong vision and determination, and that is the case here too. A young physicist Pekka Tiihonen joined a team working on neurophysiological diagnostics, especially EEG-telemetry, in a hospital at the eastern part of Finland bringing technical expertise to the team. At the time, sleep apnea analysis was quite rare and qualitative as the devices where based on expensive EEG-recorders, and therefore measuring and screening sleep apnea was unsystematic.
The team started to develop devices suitable to use at home. The first four-channel portable device was produced by Tiihonen’s team in 1989.
The sleep briefcase was able to identify clear sleep apnea cases but it was not possible to analyze and classify them precisely. At that time the embedded device operated independently and produced respiration signal curves after recording to Windows environment, says Tiihonen. After twenty years those raw curves have been reanalyzed and several scientific articles have been published.
The so called sleep briefcase was in use the following 14 years, while the team worked simultaneously to improve the accuracy and usability of it. Venla, the first sleep apnea device aimed entirely for home use was completed in 2002. Later Pekka Tiihonen started to work on his doctoral thesis “Novel Portable Devices for Recording Sleep Apnea and Evaluating Altered Consciousness”, which was published and accepted in 2009.