Pioneering Home Sleep Tests in Ottawa and Beyond
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Inside Sleep Efficiency: Pioneering Home Sleep Tests in Ottawa and Beyond

Did you know that people who suffer from sleep apnea or any other sleep-related breathing disorder generally have to wait almost a year to get a sleep test?

Unfortunately, the lack of funds for sleep tests and treatment has led to much underdiagnosis and undertreatment for many Canadians. That’s around two million people not getting the potentially life-saving care they need.

After almost 20 years of working as a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT), Andrew Holmes found a solution to help many lives for the better. A born and bred Ottawan, he’d seen firsthand the problem plaguing the average Canadian. 

He knew that the healthcare industry was in need of a makeover and wanted to be part of the change driving it. In his own words, he “saw an opportunity to provide faster access to diagnostic testing and a pathway forward to treatment by offering home-based sleep tests.” 

This led to the birth of Holmes’s company, Sleep Efficiency: it offers next-day appointments alongside being able to do the test at home. It also offers home deliveries, not just in Ottawa but throughout Ontario too.

Instead of waiting for months on end to get a sleep test at a local hospital and spending the night in a sleep lab waiting for results, Ontarians now have a more efficient test.

What’s more, those suffering from anxiety, PTSD, or major stress find it much easier to conduct the test at home as compared to within a clinic. Parents who can’t leave their children at home alone or shift workers also benefit from such a time-flexible test.

When you take into account all the factors that prevent people from getting tested as swiftly as possible or at all, Holmes says it starts to make sense why many are left undiagnosed. 

It’s why Holmes finds the greatest satisfaction when Sleep Efficiency helps someone identify that they do suffer from sleep apnea. “Having the ability to add years and quality of life to 100’s of patients has been very fulfilling,” he stated.

Aside from becoming the premiere diagnostic service provider in Ottawa, he hopes to expand throughout Canada as well. All with the goal of helping those with limited or no access to timely diagnostic sleep testing.

Despite only establishing the business in 2015, Holmes’s company has already grown from having just a few referring physicians. These days, it’s being referred by well over 100 family physicians, cardiologists, pre-op clinics, dentists, and other allied health providers. 

But like any other business that’s starting from the ground up, it wasn’t always sunshine and daisies. When asked about the challenges he faced early on as a business owner in Ottawa, Holmes admitted to missing the social opportunities of a hospital setting.

Fortunately, since joining the Invest Ottawa community, he says he has been welcomed by both community and advisors. He attributes his accelerated growth and success thanks to their programs and the people themselves.

If he were to give any aspiring entrepreneur in Ottawa some advice, it would be to never say no to an opportunity. “If you say no, the story ends. If you say yes, you don’t know what other doors may open up further down the line.”