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World Sleep Day – Bringing the sleep laboratory at home with Sleepiz

Quality sleep is imperative to our individual and collective well-being. In order to spread awareness about the importance of getting a good sleep, each year the world marks World Sleep Day. Today, EIT Health Germany is honouring the day by talking to Max Sieghold, co-founder of Sleepiz, about how they are changing the way sleep disorders are diagnosed.

Sleepiz is no stranger to the EIT Health community, having won in the DigitalHealth category of the European Health Catapult and the Headstart Grant at the EIT Health Germany SHIP event in July 2018. The Swiss startup is developing a non-contact medical grade screening solution for sleep apnea. By using wireless technology, the device can measure vital human signs at medical accuracy without touching the patient – enabling non-contact clinical grade home diagnosis of sleep apnea.

  • Sleep problems constitute a global epidemic that threatens health and quality of life for a large share of the world’s population. How do sleep problems affect individuals and society as a whole?

The lack of sleep is a common problem in modern society. 25% of people snore on a regular basis, and 50% of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea, which means that they stop breathing from 10s to 100s and these pauses may occur> 500 times per night. Long term sleep deprivation may lead to an increased risk of chronic diseases, such as respiratory or cardiovascular diseases, but also to an increased body weight and a weak immune system. Undiagnosed sleep apnea costs the US an estimated $ 150bn (~ € 130bn) per year. Costs that are a result of related lost productivity, motor vehicle accidents and workplace accidents, as well as healthcare costs. 

  • Most sleep disorders are preventable or treatable, yet many people suffering from these disorders remain undiagnosed. What can we do?

According to an international NIH survey almost half of the individuals with sleep problems never take any steps to resolve them, which implies that that they care little about their sleep routine and would not go to consult their doctor or specialist. This results in 80% of apnea patients being undiagnosed. A reason for this may be that sleep apnea diagnosis is an uncomfortable, expensive and time-consuming procedure. The current state of the art (Polysomnography) requires patients to sleep in a hospital overnight, with more than 30 sensors attached to their body, and be monitored by a technician the entire time. Alternatively, patients get all cabled up to sleep with a nasal canula and belts at home (Polygrapy). This holds people back from getting a diagnosis, which is a pity, because as you already mentioned, most sleep disorders are treatable.  

  • Sleepiz is addressing this issue with a secure non-contact multidimensional sleep monitoring and assessment solution. Can you tell us more about your product and what are the latest developments related to it?

We have developed a sleep disorder screening device, which enables non-contact clinical grade home diagnosis. The solution itself is simply placed on the bedside table of a patient at home. This allows patients to sleep undisturbed in their most natural sleep environment while the device measures respiration, heart rate and body movement. The data is then automatically transferred to the doctor who can easily diagnose the disease through automated reports within minutes the next morning.

By using the most advanced Wireless Millimeter Wave Technology, Sensor Fusion and Artificial Intelligence, we offer a completely contactless and clinical grade diagnosis of sleep apnoea.

  • Can you share some examples how your sleep technology has helped people suffering from sleep disorders?

Currently we are in the development and clinical validation phase. We validate our device against the golden standard in sleep labs, to go to market with an accurate medical device. We believe that we will enable many more people to receive a hassle-free sleep diagnosis at home, helping doctors to recognize symptoms to initiate treatment early.

This may not only empower a good night’s sleep but also prevent fatigue and chronic diseases.  

  • World Sleep Day 2020 will incorporate the slogan “Better Sleep, Better Life, Better Planet”, highlighting sleep’s important place as a pillar of health. In your opinion, how can we put sleep’s importance on the national agenda? 

Sleep is often neglected as a vital feature of one’s health even though we know how important it is. Everyone can contribute to make sure to get enough sleep and can approach a doctor and specialist for consultancy.  

  • Sleep has been the subject of research for over a century now. Will we ever discover the mystery around sleep?

 Sleepiz enables contactless medical sleep monitoring in a natural home setting and will thereby provide additional data that has not been captured so far. This is a disruptive technology that will generate further insights into sleep. 

  • What is your key message for World Sleep Day 2020?

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book” is what an Irish proverb says. So, sleep well, take care and stay healthy.

 

For more info on Sleepiz, check out their European Health Catapult video.