The relationship between sleep and mental health is well-documented. Chronic sleep problems affect between 50% - 80% of patients in a typical psychiatric practice, compared with 10% - 18% of adults in the general U.S. population. This intricate relationship underscores the importance of providing consumers with better awareness and understanding of their sleep patterns and the important role that sleep plays in their overall health.
With that goal in mind, AIM Specialty Health® (AIM), a subsidiary of Anthem, Inc. and leader in
the management of obstructive sleep apnea for health plans and their members, chose the
Serenity platform (a mindfulness, meditation and relaxation app series from Olson Meditation and Mindfulness Apps) to develop a tool to help consumers assess potential sleep issues,
which can significantly diminish health, alertness, and safety. Untreated sleep disorders have
been linked to hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes, and other chronic
diseases. Sleep problems can take many forms and can involve too little sleep, too much sleep,
or inadequate quality of sleep.
Using the Serenity behavioral platform, the AIM Specialty Health team, led by
ThomasPower, MD, Senior Medical Director, Cardiology, Sleep Medicine, and Surgical Procedures, was able to develop a conversational, AI-based, sleep assessment tool, titled Understanding Sleep
Assessment. Dr. Power, board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases, is
responsible for the clinical components of the Cardiology, Sleep, and Surgical Procedures
Solutions. He maintains an active clinical practice in addition to his duties at AIM.
Using Serenity Builder, the AIM team developed a unique and engaging set of
conversations between a clinician and a patient persona. The team was able to incorporate a
variety of engaging content types, from images to video. Using the tool to create branching
conversations, Dr. Power was also able to better triage patients to the types of materials most likely to help them. AIM Specialty Health also used Serenity’s Custom Assessment feature to offer users a self-assessment on obstructive sleep apnea, a common condition that affects sleep.
The protocol also uses the STOP-BANG assessment, which was first researched in 2008. It is
an acronym, which stands for snoring, tiredness, observed apnea, blood pressure, body mass
index, age, neck circumference and gender. Asking the questions associated with each
category can help spot an at-risk patient who has not been assessed in a formal sleep study.
The Sleep Assessment is currently available to all users subscribing to the Serenity app, and
those using the seven-day free trial opportunity.
Dr. Power indicated that his team found Serenity’s no-code environment easy to use, giving
their clinical team the opportunity to rapidly innovate on creating relational, conversational
courses for those suffering from sleep issues.