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Editorials |

Sleep Tools

Max Hirshkowitz, PhD; Amir Sharafkhaneh, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Houston, TX 
 ,  Dr. Hirshkowitz is Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, and Dr. Sharafkhaneh is Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine, Sleep Disorders and Research Center.

Correspondence to: Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, Sleep Disorders and Research Center, VA Medical Center 116A, 2002 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030-4298; e-mail: maxh@bcm.tmc.edu



Chest. 2001;119(5):1303. doi:10.1378/chest.119.5.1303
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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “All the tools and engines on earth are only extensions of man’s limbs and senses.”1 Tools born from the marriage of health and computer sciences have tremendously extended both our reach and sight. In sleep medicine, computerization has long boasted great promise. That promise is at long last reaching fruition. Perhaps the greatest attraction of computerization in sleep medicine relates to data reduction. From the very beginning, sleep specialists had to devise rules in order to summarize the hours of data and miles of paper (now megabytes of disk files). On average, it takes a well-trained polysomnographic technologist and polysomnographer several hours to distill a sleep recording to the essence required for clinical purposes. As sleep medicine grows, so does the pressure to develop more efficient tools for recording and reducing data.

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