A unique track at this year’s Health 2.0 Fall Conference is a SleepTech Summit focusing on innovations that enhance or improve a person’s ability to achieve a quicker, longer, and more refreshing sleep. As part of the main exhibit hall, six sleep-related companies were demoing their devices and technologies, and Medgadget had a chance to hold short interviews with each one.
In addition to these six technology companies, Sleep-Geek was also in attendance. Sleep-Geek is a website and online community founded in 2010 with a mission to serve the mattress industry by connecting members with ideas that serve their professional goals. Powered by Leggett & Platt, Sleep-Geek believes that sleep industry professionals should take the time to be sleep consultants to their clients by advising them on their sleep and well-being.
Now onto the interviews!
Medgadget: Which of ASTI’s technologies are you showing at Health 2.0?
Stacey Pinneke, Director of Marketing and Communications, Adaptive Sound Technology, Inc (ASTI): We have a number of devices here including the LectraFan, LectroFan micro, and ASTI’s original Sound+Sleep and Sound+Sleep SE devices. Many people already fall asleep while listening to their fan or television, which create a white noise background sound. However, these sources of sound might not be consistent. Lectro Fan, an Amazon best-selling product, produces consistent white noise that the user can focus on without distraction in order to fall asleep. The device comes with 10 fan sounds and 10 general white noise sound options, as well as the ability to modulate sound volume. A built-in timer allows the user to automatically turn off the sound after they fall asleep. Designed with a much smaller form factor, the wireless LectroFan micro is a travel-ready, Bluetooth-enabled version of the LectroFan with four fan sounds, four white noise sounds, and two ocean sounds. Our original Sound+Sleep devices offer a wider range of up to 64 distinct sound profiles designed to promote deeper sleep, relaxation, and renewal.
Medgadget: What makes ASTI’s technology unique?
Stacey: Two patented features make ASTI’s devices stand out from other sleep technologies. First, and it is so important we put it right in the company name, is the ability to generate adaptive sound. Most sleep technologies that generate sound do so with looping which means that the sound track eventually reaches an endpoint and has to be restarted. While it might not always be easy to catch, an individual’s subconscious can pick up on this repetition. Generating adaptive sound means that ASTI’s technology can combine the huge volume of sounds that our team has gone out and recorded and combine them in different ways to compose recordings in real-time that never loop.
Second, our devices are constantly using feedback from the environment to modulate the sound they are emitting in a responsive manner. For example, if there is a loud sound outside your room, ASTI’s devices can raise their volume to maintain the user’s ability to focus on the sound that is helping them fall asleep.
Medgadget: What is Tanda and how are you innovating on mattress technology?
Brandon Thomas, Communications, Tanda: Tanda is a new mattress coming to the market this week! The name, Tanda, means “cool” in Hindi and is associated with the low-tech cooling capability built right into the mattress that allows the user to have a better night’s sleep. Studies have shown that the cooler the body is when trying to fall asleep, the faster it can fall asleep. Tanda incorporates Atros, a cooling cover made from fibers that pull cool air from the room and onto the top of the mattress. When laying on the mattress, the surface remains at a cooler temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes, which is about how long it takes to fall asleep. Users are recommended to sleep on Tanda in rooms with a temperature between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal results. Tanda is perfect for people who constantly feel warm when trying to fall asleep and who wake up sweaty in the middle of the night.
Currently, Tanda offers two versions of our mattress: Comfy Cool, which provides a light cooling sensation and incorporates a comfortable, breathable foam, and Complete Cool, which incorporates the full Atros system. Coming up early in 2018, we are excited to be launching a new product focused on the couple’s experience. If you sleep one way and your partner sleeps another, our new product will allow for variability that lets both individuals enjoy a comfortable, cool night’s sleep.
Medgadget: Mattress technology is getting more popular recently. How do you see the competitive space and where Tanda positions itself?
Brandon: The competitive space, with companies like Casper, has recently been defined by the evolution of online, direct-to-consumer, mattress-in-a-box solutions that have revolutionized the purchase and delivery process. At Tanda, we do that while also innovating on the sleep experience and being thoughtful about the health aspects of sleep. No other competitor is doing what we are today in terms of our features like our Opti-Breeze foam and Atros technology. There are also other mattress products beginning to incorporate more sensors and IOT capabilities into their mattress products. Tanda believes that low-tech is important in allowing the mattress to do all the work for you, right out of the box. We have spent a lot of time over the past summer with focus groups across all genres of consumers from millennials to grandparents, singles and couples. We believe Tanda is offering the right product for what consumers are asking for in mattress technology today.
Medgadget: Can you give us an overview of the Nightingale technology? (Note: Medgadget reviewed the Nightingale system earlier this year)
Tim Suri, Director of Channel Sales, Cambridge Sound Management: Nightingale is a smart home sleep system developed by Cambridge Sound Management, the largest sound technology company in the world. Most sound control technologies are basically white noise generating devices that make a hissing sound to drown out conversations. Our founder was an MIT innovator with a PhD in acoustics who focused on human hearing and speech frequencies which are now patented as part of our sound masking technology. We already have had our technology in use by the government, call center, and office buildings for over 20 years. Nightingale is our first consumer product in which we see a huge opportunity to take this sound technology and help them achieve better sleep.
Nightingale is WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled, IOT friendly, and works directly with Apple home and Alexa technologies. Built right into a device that sits right over a standard wall socket without taking up either outlet, Nightingale has 15 preset frequencies that modulate to each room’s acoustics and the user’s sleep conditions. Some examples of these preset frequencies that we know are important use cases for consumers include: sound blanket, snoring blanket, tinnitus, infant, nursing home, and hospital.
One device covers 150 square feet and two units can reach from 300-400 square feet. Nightingale is coming to the consumer in Canada next week through resellers like Brookstone, Sam’s Club, and Lowes.
Medgadget: How do you know it works? Can you elaborate on how Nightingale interacts with other IOT technologies.
Tim: We did a medical study with Harvard Medical to evaluate Nightingale’s capabilities. What we found was that our technology helped people fall asleep 38% faster and kept them asleep as well as using roughly two sleeping pills.
Nightingale interacts with other IOT technologies like Nest and Hue devices through Advanced IFTTT. IFTTT is a free web-based service that allows users to define interactions between other cloud based services and devices. Through this kind of integration, you can have Nightingale trigger off of other inputs such as letting you know that someone is at the front door.
Medgadget: What is the THIM ring and how does it help me achieve better sleep? (Note: THIM was developed by the same team that created the Re-Timer device to reset circadian rhythms.)
Ben Olsen, CEO, THIM: THIM is a sleep tracking ring that helps you fall asleep by waking you up. The way it works is that you put the THIM ring on any finger when you go to bed. Based on your movement, an accelerometer in the device detects when you have fallen asleep and then, three minutes later, it wakes you up! The effect is the repeated sensation of falling asleep multiple times in one night which effectively trains your body to fall asleep sooner on subsequent nights.
The science behind THIM is based on two peer-reviewed, university trials per reviewed which demonstrated that this technique can help you fall asleep 30 minutes sooner and increases sleep duration by 70 minutes. These studies were specifically conducted on individuals diagnosed with sleep onset insomnia who were unable to fall asleep at sleep clinics.
Medgadget: How is THIM different than other sleep sensors and approaches, many of which utilize wrist-based sensors?
Ben: Finger motion is much different and much more pronounced than wrist movement. This means the dataset THIM is evaluating is completely different and more insightful than the datasets from wrist-based sleep monitors. The future of THIM and our ongoing R&D work is actually focused on figuring out what additional, new insights we can derive from this analyzing this largely unexplored dataset.
Another thing to highlight is that THIM’s approach to better sleep is completely behavioral. We are training people to naturally fall asleep more effectively rather than relying on medications to be part of the solution.
Medgadget: Where did the idea for the Smart Pillow come from and what kind of data does it capture?
Dr. Rick Loose, Inventor of the Proper and Smart Pillows, Proper Pillow: Sleep is by far the most important part of being healthy. We spent a ton of time developing a pillow that incorporates orthopedic design for better sleep in the Proper Pillow. Following up on our original Proper Pillow, we embraced consumer’s interest in integrated sensors and IOT technology to create the Smart Pillow. We think of the pillow as a non-wearable, wearable since it incorporates a sensor network with the ability to capture pressure, thermal, and audio information as you sleep.
Pressure sensors monitor your movement and actually show you a visualized demonstration of your movement during the night on our mobile application. For those concerned with privacy, the audio sensors do not capture continuous audio but rather record very short audio samples in discrete time increments to determine the current decibel level at time points throughout the night. Combining the data from these two sensors can help users correct behaviors that might be detracting from a good night’s sleep. For example, if the pillow notices you snore frequently on one side but not the other, it can gently vibrate when you turn to once side to try and get you to switch back to an orientation that minimizes snoring.
Medgadget: What else can the user do through the Smart Pillow mobile application?
Dr. Rick: Through the mobile application, you can use a number of additional features built into the Smart Pillow. Instead of using an annoying alarm clock to wake up, the pillow can gently vibrate to wake you up more comfortably. Going back to the situation where a user is snoring frequently, one of our favorite features, and one reason partners of our users love the product, is the snore alert. Let’s say your partner wakes up in the middle of the night because you are snoring. The next day you can look back at the Smart Pillow’s audio data and identify the decibel level of your snoring sound when you woke up your partner. Through the Smart Pillow mobile app, you can then set a snore alarm threshold below that decibel level. The next night, if your snoring raises to the threshold, vibration from the pillow will help you reduce snoring and return to a good night’s sleep before you otherwise would have woken your partner.
We’ve been hearing from Muse for a few years now. Medgadget last checked in with an updated Muse product review earlier this year.
Medgadget: We’ve been following your firm for awhile now, what new, exciting things is Muse showing off at Health 2.0 this year?
Jacqueline Cooper, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, InteraXon: Today, we’re still seeing success helping people with addiction, eating, trauma, and PTSD management, all of which benefit from regular meditation. However, one challenge we often think about is how to encourage users to keep going with Muse and realize these benefits. A great opportunity we’re really excited about is our partnership with Sanfilo to incorporate Muse technology into the Smith brand of sunglasses. This puts Muse into a product and form factor that users can wear on a regular basis. The result is more data captured by both Muse technology and other sensors that are built into into the Smith glasses providing even more opportunities to give users feedback on better managing their stress and anxiety.
We’re also seeing important growth as providers begin to recommend Muse directly to their patients. With this in mind, another important advancement that also represents an important evolution in our business model relates to the deployment of a portal from which these providers can manage all their patients using a Muse device. Research shows that feedback is key to keeping users on track with their treatment plan. With this in mind, the platform is invaluable to both users and their providers who can now work together more collaboratively to realize the benefits of Muse technology. We’re also working to allow providers to get continuing medical education (CME) credits through the Muse portal.