Are you getting enough sleep?
If you’re like the majority of the population, the answer is: probably not. Not getting enough sleep can impact your physical and mental health, causing things like workplace injuries, decreased memory, increased irritability, and even symptoms of depression. In fact, sleep deprivation is linked to 7 out of the 15 leading causes of death in the United States.
Thankfully, medical device makers and technology companies are coming up with innovative ways to help you overcome your sleep woes, and their sleep technology solutions are making a good night’s sleep within reach.
The need for new Sleep Technologies
The sleep industry is booming. People all over the world are seeking modifications they can make in order to improve their sleep. Prescription medications — aka “sleeping pills” — are highly addictive and pose significant health risks. Individuals are turning to the latest sleep gadgets for a personalized sleep experience.
According to a 2011 issue of the scientific journal Sleep, not getting enough shut-eye can cost the average American 11.3 days of work, or a net average of $2,280 in lost productivity annually. On a grand scale, that is more than $63B in lost productivity per year!
Devices for Sleep Apnea
One of the biggest culprits for an interrupted night of sleep is an underdiagnosed condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and it is estimated that approximately 22 million Americans suffer from it, with 80% undiagnosed.
Symptoms of sleep apnea include heavy snoring, waking up during the night choking or gasping for air, and chronic fatigue. These breathing lapses result in poor quality of sleep and reduced oxygen intake, which can lead to serious health consequences.
Fortunately, there are some innovative advancements in sleep technology, meaning a good night’s sleep possible for people with, or without, sleep apnea. Many take advantage of cloud connectivity, providing even more patient value.
12 revolutionary sleep-tech devices
The following 12 exciting companies (and their devices) are making waves in the sleep technology industry and aim to revolutionize the way you sleep.
MOONA is the ultimate cure to a bad night’s sleep. Everyone’s sleep needs are unique, and this startup knows it.
The company developed an enhanced sleep technology solution by using the combination of a personalized pillow pad, and an accompanying smartphone app to revolutionize the way you sleep. Both items work together to help users effectively track their sleep, receive several valuable insights into their sleep habits, and the pillow pad even comes with a gentle alarm.
The MOONA system pillow pad is connected to a heat pump that uses water to regulate your pillow to desired temperatures, from anywhere between 64°F/18°C to 95°F/35°C.
The Moona Cooling Pillow Pad provides the consistent optimal temperature to your head and neck area throughout the night; triggering a thermoregulation mechanism throughout your entire body.
The mobile device app that comes with the pillow pad provides users with:
- Personalized temperature controls
- Gentle alarm using temperature
- Nap mode
- Sleep insights and tips for improving sleep habits
You can read more about this all-encompassing system, and how it works, on their website.
Somnera, Inc. is a privately-held, California-based sleep tech company that was founded in 2011. The company specializes in sleep technology solutions that focus on improving the lives of millions of patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.
What makes Somnera unique?
The company patented their Somnera™ System, a cloud-connected sleep system that employs positive airway pressure, which means a lighter air flow than a traditional continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.
This unique feature allows patients and their partners to benefit from a good night’s rest without the mask leak noise and intense air pressure from traditional machines.
Their cloud-connected devices also come with intuitive touch screens that display the user’s sleep data with customizable settings. It has a corresponding mobile device app so users can track their sleep habits and interferences during the night.
Their product has a handy GoToSleep™ mode, meaning the machine releases little to no pressure as you doze off, and gradually increases as the night goes on.
Last year, Somnera leveraged the Galen™ Cloud to achieve device-to-cloud connectivity, which means users can track their sleep through their mobile devices. You can read more about our partnership with Somnera here.
Nyxoah is a pioneering medical device company focused on developing and commercializing novel diagnostic and therapeutic sleep technology solutions to treat sleep disorders and breathing conditions through what is known as hypoglossal nerve stimulation therapy.
For those who wake up in the night gasping for air, or whose breathing issues may be a result of over-relaxed tongue muscles, Nyxoah has the solution.
Nyxoah developed the Genio® system to help patients suffering from sleep apnea caused by the abnormal relaxation of the tongue and throat muscles.
As the company explains it, the hypoglossal nerve controls the tongue and airway muscles, and by stimulating the hypoglossal nerve, the Genio® solution helps to maintain the upper airway open throughout the night.
The Genio® neurostimulator is a tiny device implanted over the genioglossus muscle, close to the tongue’s hypoglossal nerve through a minimally invasive procedure. It is easy to use; it merely requires a removable patch to be applied on top of the implant every night.
This sleep solution is ideal for patients suffering from severe sleep apnea who may not respond well to traditional PAP machine treatment.
Beddr is a health company founded in 2016 by a team of esteemed digital health entrepreneurs.
The company’s groundbreaking sleep technology solution, the SleepTuner™, collects your most important sleep data — including metrics on sleep duration, oxygen levels, heart rate, breathing events, and more — using a stick-on wearable device placed on the forehead.
The SleepTuner’s compact wearable sensor is the most precise on the market, and its holistic approach to sleep habits is truly one-of-a-kind. The solution offers businesses the opportunity to provide their employees with sleep coaching, virtual consultation, and assistance regarding sleep habits through the SleepTuner device and its corresponding mobile device app.
The SleepTuner is a touch bigger than a postage stamp, and weighs just 5.3g, which is remarkable for a device that contains a photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor, accelerometer, bluetooth antenna, and a 10-hour rechargeable battery.
#5: Neuroenhancement Lab
Neuroenhancement Lab is a neuroscience startup developing innovative technologies in the field of brain entrainment, neuromodulation, and neuroenhancement.
The company’s unique technology known as “transplanting mental states” is based on the idea that desired mental states can be replicated from one person to another. This technology is aimed to optimize human health, performance, and help treat insomnia.
To accomplish “transplanting” mental states, the company records the brainwaves of the desired mental state in a “trainer” (using electroencephalography [EEG]) who is in the desired mental state, and plays the recorded brainwaves back by stimulating the trainee’s brain to help achieve the desired mental state.
While the company is at an early stage, there are boundless possibilities with this revolutionary technology, particularly in treating insomnia and other sleep disorders.
#6: Belun Technology
Belun Technology is a Hong Kong-based medical device company that makes wearable medical devices to help anyone perform sleep clinic-quality tracking of their sleep from the comfort of their homes. This acts as a pre-screening to manage and prevent sleep, respiratory, and cardiovascular diseases.
The company developed its trademark Belun® Ring, a connected, medical-grade wearable device that checks and monitors sleep apnea risk and overall sleep wellness.
The sleep device, which clips around your fingers, can monitor things like oxygen saturation, pulse rate apnea hypopnea index, motion, and more.
Recognized as the first medical-grade wearable device in the world, Belun® Ring has already secured clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and won the Hong Kong Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Grand Award in 2018.
#7: Side Sleep Technologies
Side Sleep Technologies is a medical device startup that created a non-invasive sleep technology solution for nighttime heartburn by inducing better sleep and reducing health issues by encouraging people to sleep on their left side.
The company created a small electronic device, LEFT, which they market as “the right way to sleep”.
LEFT helps encourage people with acid reflux to sleep on their left side, so the stomach is positioned below the esophagus, allowing gravity to keep the acid in the stomach, and relieving the pain and discomfort associated with nighttime acid reflux.
How it works: LEFT is placed on the chest before going to sleep, enabling its sensors to detect the position the person is lying in. As soon as the user shifts to their right side, it will give a delicate vibration which will tell the user to adjust positions to their left side. The goal of repeated use is to conditionally train the user to sleep properly over time.
#8: Watermark Medical
Watermark Medical is a Florida-based company that provides clinically superior at-home sleep testing tools to service healthcare professionals.
Their device aims to improve sleep apnea diagnostic speed and accuracy, increase patient comfort with at-home testing, and offer a more affordable alternative to the current sleep testing solutions.
The ARES™ Home Sleep Test solution is an FDA-approved medical device that comes with a user-friendly virtual platform to allow people to test sleep conditions from the comfort of their homes.
Right before bed, users put their ARES™ device over their head, like a headlamp, and go to bed as usual. If the user misplaces the device at any point during the night from moving around, the device will wake the patient up with a noise.
The unit will help monitor the user’s breathing throughout the night to look at blood oxygen saturation, pulse rate, nasal airflow, snoring level, and heart rate.
After a patient has undergone the sleep test, a sleep medicine clinician can efficiently analyze the data on their computer using a USB connection to diagnose sleep conditions.
#9: Zephyr Sleep Technologies
Zephyr Sleep Technologies offers medical devices that monitor, analyze, and improve sleep performance and effectiveness.
Zephyr’s MATRx plus is an FDA-approved, tablet-based, connected medical device that identifies obstructive sleep apnea in patients and looks at whether or not oral appliances will be an effective treatment.
Physicians use MATRx plus to determine:
- Whether or not the user should be diagnosed with sleep apnea
- Whether or not oral appliance treatment is suitable
- How to configure their oral appliance to eliminate a 30-40% appliance rework rate
By taking the at-home test, patients can ensure their oral appliance therapy will be close to 100% effective and they can begin their treatment up to two weeks sooner than traditional therapy.
Zephyr is now recognized as a sleep industry innovator, sleep technology game-changer, and the recipient of multiple awards through high-level clinical trials, publications, research, product awards, and installing sleep labs.
#10: Inspire Medical Systems, Inc.
Inspire Medical Systems, Inc. manufactured the first FDA-approved obstructive sleep apnea device to treat breathing problems inside the body by working with the user’s natural breathing patterns.
Inspire is the name of the company’s compact neurostimulation device that is implanted in the body during a minimally invasive procedure, and works throughout the night to gently push your tongue forward (helping clear airways), so you can breathe naturally and sleep restfully.
The device works wonders inside your body, while you sleep. Before bed, the user simply clicks a remote to turn Inspire on.
This implantable is a great solution for OSA patients who did not adhere well to traditional CPAP.
#11: Prosomnus Sleep Technologies
ProSomnus® Sleep Technologies designs and manufactures highly personalized intraoral medical devices that dentists use to treat patients diagnosed with sleep apnea.
The company’s groundbreaking EVO™ Oral Appliance Therapy Device is applied like a retainer in the mouth, and has the capabilities of moving the soft tissues away from the back of your throat, increases airflow, reduces snoring and is an incredibly convenient sleep solution.
The device combines medical-grade materials, artificial intelligence, and robotics, to facilitate a desirable treatment and allow people to get the rest and oxygen they need.
#12: AirAvant Medical
In 2013, AirAvant Medical, a privately-held medical device company based in Florida, was founded to develop sleep technology and innovative respiratory medical devices to treat sleep-disordered breathing.
The company created a non-invasive, safe, and effective oral appliance known as the Bongo Rx, a sleek, negative pressure “Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure” (EPAP) medical device that is used to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea.
The Bongo Rx is a reusable silicone nasal device designed to be convenient and discreet since it does not require any machine, hoses, electricity, or batteries. The device comes in four different sizes to ensure that the device forms a comfortable, firm seal inside the nose, and comes with an optional headgear accessory for more active sleepers.
Its soft silicone nasal pillows form a seal just inside the nasal openings, and when inhaling, its small valves open up so users can breathe normally. When exhaling, the valves close, which directs air through small vent holes to generate EPAP.
This device helps reduce the effects of sleep apnea, suitable for patients who have trouble adhering to traditional CPAP machines.
Sleep Device Cloud Connectivity
With over 50 million Americans suffering from some form of sleep disorder, and the majority undiagnosed and untreated, leveraging the sleep technology available will help empower people to better understand their own sleeping habits and areas of improvement.
For many medical device manufacturers working towards sleep solutions, some of the steepest challenges faced are connecting their device to the cloud and meeting regulatory and technical requirements.
Many connected sleep devices are expected to have the capabilities of monitoring vital signs or be able to share personal sleep data with healthcare professionals — making it crucial to have a secure, reliable cloud platform for sleep devices.
Galen Data offers a turnkey solution; companies can benefit from a fully-managed, configurable, and compliant cloud solution that collects and securely stores data for medical devices.