In addition to fatigue, high blood pressure, and weight gain experienced by individuals with chronically poor sleep, productivity and performance in the workplace are also known to suffer. Sleep deprivation, for example, can cost employers up to six lost working days and $2,762 in financial impact annually per employee. Today, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that 50-70 million adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic sleep issues or wakefulness disorder.
Medgadget has previously covered sleep management solutions seeking to help individuals achieve better sleep. An upcoming player in the market is startup dayzz, a subsidiary of Maarbarot Products, an Israeli developer, manufacturer, and marketer of advanced nutrition and health products. Since July 2017, dayzz has been developing an evidence-based, personalized sleep training app for enterprise workforces to improve sleep quality while reducing healthcare and employer costs. According to dayzz Chief Science Officer Dr. Mairav Cohen-Zion, “Effectively treating sleep conditions necessitates a thorough understanding and attention to individual elements. Dayzz achieves just that by offering a one stop source of known high-quality, effective sleep solutions integrated into an individualized tailored sleep management program.”
While dayzz is not slated for release until next month, in the meantime, Medgadget had a chance to learn more about dayzz’s business, technology, and plan from CEO Amir Inditzky. Amir represents 15 years of experience leading innovative, complex online products, and was formerly head of e-commerce and technology innovation at Israel Discount Bank. Check back later this year for Medgadget‘s review of the dayzz system once it becomes available.
Medgadget, Michael Batista: Thank you for taking the time to tell us more about dayzz’s training technology. To start, where did the idea for dayzz come from and what market needs does dayzz solve?
Amir Inditzky: Dayzz is an innovative corporate sleep solution in the shape of a mobile app. It provides personalized sleep training plans based on big-data analysis, customized to the needs and progress of each user. Using smart monitoring devices, mobile behavior technology, and a unique sleep assessment developed by world-leading sleep experts, dayzz matches users with a training plan tailored to their specific sleep issues, lifestyle, and individual sleep goals.
Dayzz offers its product to self-insured employers in the US to support their employees and reduce costs by enhancing performance through increased productivity, fewer accidents and days off work, and decreased healthcare utilization. An employer’s program includes a sleep assessment to evaluate the prevalence of sleep disorders in the organization and their economic impact, a mobile app, a sleep monitoring device, and ongoing guidance by a sleep trainer.
The idea for dayzz was born from the market need. Currently, if you are suffering from sleep difficulties, chances are that they are undiagnosed or untreated. In the case that you do decide to seek help via the traditional healthcare system, your journey will likely be long, difficult, and at times costly. In order to properly treat a sleep disorder you need a wide variety of solutions (mainly behavioral and environmental) and the ability to combine them in a smart, personalized manner. The traditional healthcare system is not able to offer a variety of solutions, let alone accompany someone making choices and adjustments throughout his or her journey. Currently, most digital solutions are comprised of a “one size fits all” method, and focus on one element, where a combination of various elements is required in order to properly treat a sleep disorder. This lack of sufficient, appropriate solutions is costing US employers billions of dollar a year. Insufficient sleep leads to absenteeism and presenteeism, decreased productivity, higher accident risk, and increased healthcare utilization which all translate into a huge economic impact in the workplace.
This is the gap that dayzz wishes to address – we want to establish a one stop shop for sleep improvement where people can find everything they need – whenever they need it, wherever they need it – in a digital, personalized solution.
Medgadget: Dayzz promises to help users improve their sleep. What does dayzz define as an improvement and how is it tracked?
Inditzky: Sleep measurement can be split into two major categories: subjective and objective. Dayzz focuses on tracking sleep changes within these two realms. We communicate with the user to get self-reported (subjective) data on sleep improvement, while passively measuring (objective) changes using technology, such as sleep/wake tracking, which is integrated into the app. We look at change in sleep quality, duration, and continuity (sleep initiation and maintenance abilities). Dayzz also measures improvement in sleep as a function of waking behavior and performance. For example, daytime arousal, sleepiness, concentration, and mood – functions which are all greatly affected by our sleep.
Medgadget: As a business strategy, is dayzz completely focused on employers? Do you currently or do you plan to in the future also cater to individual consumers and providers? As an individual, will I be able to download and use the dayzz app free of charge?
Inditzky: We are currently focused on employers as our target customers. Our business model is subscription-based per employee per month. We plan to sell our solution either directly to employers, or via existing corporate wellness digital platforms. Down the road, we have plans to collaborate with providers using dayzz as a clinical decision support tool, as well as with payers in order to reduce healthcare costs. Having said that, as of October 2018, we definitely plan to offer our product to individual consumers free of charge in order to fulfil our core mission – to provide everyone who is suffering from insufficient sleep with an accessible, easy to use sleep solution. We are constantly listening to users and learning about their needs, improving our product, and gathering more data for improving performance and personalization capabilities.
Medgadget: After the dayzz system learns a bit about the user, it generates a sleep training plan. What does the training plan include?
Inditzky: The basis of our entire system is data collection and analysis; we are constantly learning about our users and adapt their plans accordingly. The app provides a personal sleep improvement guide, combining training modules categorized into four outcome domains: Days, Nights, Environment, and Mind. The “Days” category has suggestions regarding waking behaviors that may affect sleep, including natural and artificial light exposure, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol use, nutrition, napping, and use of an alarm. “Nights” focuses on recommendations related to behaviors during nighttime hours which may affect sleep ability and continuity or lead to nighttime arousal, sleep loss, or sleep fragmentation. This includes sleep schedules, day/night preference, and sleep postures. The “Environment” modules include all tangible elements in the natural sleep environment that are known to affect sleep or internal sleep/wake rhythms, such as ambient room temperature, light/dark exposure, and noise levels. The last category, the “Mind,” encompasses elements which may positively affect preparedness for sleep or the transition into sleep, such as reduction of mental hyperarousal, sleep-related anxieties, and worry. The modules in this category use cognitive and behavioral means to reduce hyperarousal and increase calmness, such as thought-challenging for sleep-related anxieties, meditation sessions, breathing and relaxation exercises, and physical exercise recommendations. The above categories are disclosed to the user who track their own advancement through these sleep-related arenas, thereby actively incorporating the users in their own understanding of their sleep issues. This helps to increase sleep awareness and motivation to continue the sleep training journey successfully.
The “active ingredient,” or the most crucial element of our plan and what makes dayzz so unique, is the constantly adaptive plan which creates a dialogue with the users and allows us to integrate the treatment into the user’s life in the most optimal manner.
Medgadget: What kind of feedback do users receive? The dayzz website mentions sleep trainers. How do these support resources play a role?
Inditzky: We offer a complete sleep improvement solution based on two assumptions:
- A person may have more than one sleep issue – therefore, we address each of the indicators.
- Sleep is not only affected by our nights – therefore, we cover all 24 hours of the day and offer four training domains.
We believe that sleep can always be improved, and the key to success is training our sleep habits with lifestyle changes and adjustments over time, similar to trying to lose weight or practicing sports. We challenge the user with quick tasks for a whole week, track the user’s progress, and adjust the plan with new tasks based on performance and ranking. The training plan is reflected on a dashboard, where the user earns trophies for each completed flow, which is a combination of tasks dealing with a certain topic, such as caffeine consumption, exposure to daylight, or adjusting to a new bedtime. We engage our users through timed reminders and motivation boosts based on their location, motion, and activity. For example, we might send the user a reminder to drink his/her last cup of coffee when recognizing a restaurant presence, calculating his/her total daylight exposure time based on time spent outdoors, ot tracking sleep data based on the mobile usage and activity.
Currently, we are performing a closed pilot with approximately 100 users. The sleep trainer function is designed to support the emotional and motivational aspects of each user. Sleep improvement is a process and can take a while to create long lasting change. And, as we all know, adhering to a plan is one of the biggest challenges in digital health. The sleep trainer provides our users with what we call TLC: tender, love and care. The trainer motivates users to stick to their plan, in addition to an engaging user experience, and provides a human touch, which is sometimes missing for people who suffer from these sleep issues. We are currently developing a sleep support group, which will be guided by a sleep trainer and will be composed of users with shared experiences who can support each other throughout the process.
Medgadget: What is the science behind dayzz’s sleep training plans [and supporting feedback, if applicable]?
Inditzky: In recent years, a significant amount of scientific research has focused on validating a range of behavioral treatments for specific sleep disorders, from insomnia to sleep apnea. As a result, several evidence-based protocols have been designed to target specific sleep disorders such as Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Insomnia (CBT-I). The dayzz sleep training plans are soundly based on the scientific knowledge in the sleep field. All our treatments are derived from working with leading sleep experts and well-established, validated protocols which have been modified to fit the digital platform and to be accessible and engaging to a wide-range of users dealing with sleep disorders or wishing to improve their sleep habits. All this theoretical knowledge is integrated with the data the application collects about users’ behavior to produce our smart algorithm. This serves as the core element of our system.
We are currently running a large clinical trial at a leading medical research institution in the US, with the main goal of validating the dayzz proprietary sleep assessment (which was developed with world leading sleep experts) in the population-at-large. Moreover, we are about to embark on clinical trials, testing our sleep training programs.
The fact that dayzz is science based is a key success factor and a differentiator of our solution. Many of the apps in the app store today are not evidence-based and thus their efficacy and value are unknown.
Medgadget: I’ve had a chance to demo a number of sleep technologies over the last few years. With a range of wearable, bedside, and app-based sleep technologies available, what differentiates dayzz?
Inditzky: You are right, the sleep tech arena is on the rise, and there are a lot of solutions out there. The problem with the existing solutions, though, is that most of them are generic and not personalized. Most of the existing technologies will provide only monitoring, or give superficial insights, but will not provide you with an actionable, effective plan. If they do offer concrete treatment, it’s usually composed of one single solution and is not fit to the users’ specific sleep habits or lifestyle. In order to treat the problem, it takes a smart mix of solutions orchestrated into a coherent personalized plan, which is exactly what dayzz offers.
The main factor that differentiates dayzz from current sleep training apps on the market is the assessment function. The app also easily puts your personal sleep stats into context that is easy to understand. For example, if you sync your tracking device, it shows you exactly how much REM sleep, or deep or light sleep you are getting, and provides you with the insight to understand what each data point means, what is normative and what needs to change. Additionally, because dayzz understands that one single approach is not likely solve your sleep issue(s), we are able to personalize solutions in a consciousness way that adapt to your needs as you progress.
Medgadget: While dayzz is nearing launch, has there been any initial feedback or highlights from early adopters? What do users like most about dayzz?
Inditzky: The feedback we have received so far is amazing. Many of our users are people who have tried everything to help themselves sleep. Most of them report that dayzz is the first solution they’ve successfully been able to adhere to and has provided them with a wide variety of tools to improve their sleep in a sustainable manner. Most of the users report not only better sleep, but also that they feel more supported, vital, productive, and happier.
Medgadget: Thank you again for your time. To close, when will dayzz be hitting the market and what comes next for dayzz once the product goes live?
Inditzky: Android and iOS alpha versions of the Dayzz app will be soft-launched in October to help the company gather enough user data for quality-assurance testing and optimization. After the soft launch, we will continue to add additional features and treatment modules such as support groups and CPAP adherence support.
The subsequent goal is a hard launch in early 2019 for employers looking to reduce costs and improve their employees’ well being.